Brandon Austin confirmed various twitter reports that he has reneged on his verbal commitment to Penn State and Pat Chambers. This is devastating on all levels for the momentum and optimism surrounding PSU basketball recruiting as Austin was easily the most heralded recruit this program ever earned a commitment from. The North Philly baller committed to PSU during the season in February, but will now reopen his recruitment to host of high-profile suitors.
The obvious question is why, and with the current events surrounding the school, many assume it could be in response to the NCAA sanctions that will be brought down on the school tomorrow. Dave Telep's source indicates that this is not the case, and I think there's good reason to believe it. Austin's high school coach also reported to the Collegian that he hasn't ruled out PSU.
Austin has continued to make favorable impressions on the AAU circuit this summer after a stellar performance at the Pangos All-American camp and with Team Philly at various Hoop Group tournaments. He's a consensus 4-star, Top100 recruit. For a school such as Penn State, it's hard to hold on to these verbals from the prestigious opportunities a Duke, Ohio State, or Kentucky can offer. That's why signing day can't ever come soon enough. Unfortunately PSU wasn't able to hold on to Austin until then. I wouldn't totally rule out BA coming back to PSU, as he's close with DJ Newbill and has known Chambers and the staff since the 8th grade, but the odds of that are slim to none.
The 2013 class is left with Geno Thorpe, who seems solid via twitter. Thorpe has missed out on the July period because of a sprained ankle. But what seemed like the promising class that was going to be the foundation of Chambers' turnaround has now come to a crossroads. They're no longer ahead of the curve in the recruiting cycle. The pressure's on the staff to find 3 talented prospects to round out this class and stick with the cause of building a new era of Penn State basketball. But there's only a few months to do it before the November signing period rolls around when most of the elite basketball prospects sign their LOIs.
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