Lanphier's Austin commits to Tennessee

Published 08/01 2013 04:04PM

Updated 08/01 2013 06:41PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois basketball fans have been watching Larry Austin, Jr. since he was an eighth grader, hoping someday he would pick the Orange and Blue.  Since then the offers have come rolling in - more than a dozen of them - and Thursday Austin made his choice.

The Springfield Lanphier senior announced he will play basketball for the Tennessee Volunteers and head coach Cuonzo Martin.  Austin chose UT over Illinois, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Missouri, Memphis and others.

"My role is to come in there and play - produce every day in the gym," Austin said.  "I'll come in and hopefully start.  I'll go [to Knoxville] and play right away - just go in there and compete and have a good time."

As for why Austin didn't pick Illinois, who offered him twice (once under Bruce Weber and again under John Groce), he told WCIA 3's Austin Kim the Illini "laid off a bit," and he was turned off by the large number of guards Groce already has in the fold.

Austin developed a relationship with both Weber and Groce at Illinois, but it was his relationship with Vols coach Cuonzo Martin that sealed the deal.

"What really sold Larry on Tennessee was the relationship he developed with Cuonzo Martin, the head coach," Lanphier head coach Blake Turner said.  "I think when the head coach is reaching out to you constantly telling you you're going to come change the program - I think that says a lot as opposed to hearing that from assistants."

Austin is a four-star recruit and one of the top point guards nationally.

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