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Purdue Basketball Recruiting: Austin Karazsia

If Purdue is looking for a late 2013 addition it needs only look to the south.

With the news that Sandi Marcius may or may not be transferring Purdue could possibly have an open scholarship in the class of 2013. Most of the top recruits are already committed elsewhere, so Purdue could go for a two-year JuCo solution or another four-year player. Losing a post player and already having three perimeter players makes another forward a likely priority. Therefore, I propose a solution.

In the Class 2A state championship game last Saturday Linton Stockton had a 6'8" senior (therefore, class of 2013) that played one hell of a game against a Bowman Academy team loaded with Division I athletic talent. His name was Austin Karazsia, and he could be an interesting addition if Purdue decides to give him a look.

Karazsia is late to the game because he was originally a quarterback prospect, but decided earlier this year he would prefer to play basketball. He was 26-2 the last two seasons for Linton-Stockton on the football field, losing Indianapolis Scecina in tight semi-state games each of the past two years as he racked up a host of school records. This year, going 13-1, he threw for 3,328 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a 71% completion percentage.

Even with those football numbers he didn't have many offers, so he turned his eyes to basketball. He led Linton-Stockton to its first state finals appearance with a 24-3 record before losing to Bowman. His numbers were huge, too. He averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists as a versatile and virtually unguardable forward. How good was he? He shot an astounding 70.3% from the field (106 of 293) and 81.8% from the free throw line. He was even 36.3% from long range since very few players at the 2A level in Indiana can guard a 6'8" player on the perimeter.

Those were his numbers before the title game. Againse Bowman, who was incredibly athletic and played a fast-paced, full-court press defense he regularly handled the ball in the backcourt and kept his team in it all afternoon. He was an impress 11 of 13 from the field and 7 of 8 from the line for 29 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. He did not take a single three-pointer, but his team only shot 8. He did not have a turnover despite handling the ball quite a bit and his team being forced into 23 on the day. The final result was an 86-73 loss, but Karazsia may have been the best player on the floor.

It's amazing that this kid, who is a naturally talented athlete, has almost zero recruiting noise. He also took home the Class 2A Mental Attitude Award. He is headed to the top 60 workout and he could land himself a spot on the Indiana All-Star team as the result of his fantastic season. He is a big kid that plays much smaller in terms of agility, probably because of his football background. In my opinion he is an incredibly underrated prospect because he more than held his own against a Bowman team that had at least three Division I players and was more athletic at every position.

Will Purdue go after him if there is a 2013 spot open? I don't know. At minimum, he would be a great addition as a walk-on that could play the four or be a matchup nightmare with his size at the three. I guarantee even as a walk-on he would earn regular playing time over the course of his career. Much of his family played football at Indiana State so he could have an in there, but it is not much that further to West Lafayette. This is a kid that is more than worth a look.