East Oakland native and former Boise State point guard Paris Austin is coming home. After two seasons as a Bronco from 2015-17, Austin will return to the Bay Area and play for the Cal men’s basketball team.
Per NCAA transfer rules, Austin will have to sit out the 2017-18 season, but will have a full two seasons of eligibility in the ensuing years. Marcus Lee, a fellow Bay Area native, took a similar route and transferred to Cal from Kentucky.
Austin announced the decision on Twitter yesterday:
After talking with my family. I have decided to come home and play for Cal Berkeley 🐻. I just want to say thank you to all the coaches. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/bMgQ4j63cZ
— Paris Austin (@ParisAustin30) May 16, 2017
Austin received limited minutes during his first season with Boise State, averaging 4.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on 12.3 minutes per game, but showed flashes of his potential throughout the season. In four games during the Broncos’ Costa Rica foreign tour, Austin averaged 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
During his sophomore season, Austin saw an uptick in minutes and an increase in productivity followed suit. The sophomore averaged 12.3 points, the second-highest total on the team, as well as 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on 28.3 minutes per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the field.
Of the 32 games he played in during his sophomore season, Austin touched double digits 20 times and 20 points three times. Austin earned an All-Mountain West honorable mention as well.
Austin announced he would transfer from Boise State on May 11. The rising junior was initially determined to return to the Broncos, but he decided on a different course of action as evidenced by his decision to become a Bear.
The point guard’s stock significantly rose after his great season on the hardwood, but there are some areas of his game in which he could improve, especially considering he’ll have a whole season off. Austin has shot a career 23.2 percent from three-point land on almost one attempt per game. His 1.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is also fairly low for someone running the show.
At Bishop O’Dowd, Austin played alongside former Bear Ivan Rabb, who DraftExpress projects to be a late pick in the first-round of the NBA Draft. Austin was highly touted in high school, ranked the No. 2 point guard in California. During their senior season, Austin and Rabb led the Dragons to a state championship, at Haas Pavilion, no less.
Justice delos Santos is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]