Dana Altman was looking for one final piece to the puzzle for the 2012-13 roster and if he could find one, add an impact forward.
At 6-11 and 250 pounds Austin provides the Ducks another big body down low to go along with Tony Woods and Austin Kuemper
It might be September but Altman got the roster addition he was looking for Wednesday night from 2012 junior college All-American Waverly Austin.
Austin announced the decision over Twitter by saying, "Heading to the University of Oregon tomorrow ready to take over the pac 12 grind time!!!!!!! #goducks #Blessed."
Austin was denied admission at South Florida in the summer and instead of retaking a class at Palm Beach State College in Florida he looked for a different school to attend.
Two years ago Altman signed senior transfer Jay-R Strowbridge in September. Last year Tony Woods and Olu Ashaolu both decided to transfer into the program late.
Now Austin is the latest and also the most highly regarded junior college recruit he's signed.
As a sophomore last season the 6-foot-11 and 250 pound center averaged 14.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocked shots for a Palm Beach State College team that finished with a 26-5 record. As a freshmen Austin averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds.
When Austin was denied admission into USF this summer he became one of the hottest recruits regardless of class. NCAA Tournament regulars like Syracuse, Xavier, and Washington called to try and convince him to come.
"Basically, everyone who was somebody was calling me," said Austin Wednesday night. "It was over 30 schools that called and recruited me."
Oregon head coach Dana Altman found an important piece to the 2012-13 season in Austin.
Austin formed a support group consisting of his mother, brother, and AAU coach to weed through all the new schools and in the end came out with two schools he wanted to look at.
"We talked on the phone for three hours and broke it all down," says Austin. "We looked at what would be the best decision for me. Essentially it came down to just Xavier and Oregon."
Austin and his support group spoke with both Dana Altman and Xavier head coach Chris Mack over the phone and broke down both programs and how he could fit in at each school..
"We compared both of them together and Oregon was the best situation for me and my future," Austin said.
With fall classes starting at Oregon in only a couple of weeks Austin had time to take an official to Oregon or Xavier but said he didn't need it.
"I made my choice blind," Austin added. "I've never been to Eugene or Oregon in my life, but I am excited."
To make things even more crazy Austin picked his college choice Wednesday and will fly cross country to Eugene Thursday to get to Oregon as soon as possible.
"I could have taken official visits but I just wanted to get this out of the way and focus on basketball. I just made the decision without having been there. It was the best decision for me."
Austin says a big reason he could do that was the job Altman and his assistant coaches did in selling him on Oregon. Austin spent hours on his computer researching about Oregon's basketball program, university, and city of Eugene.
"I basically did a virtual tour of everything out there; the Matthew Knight Arena, Jaqua Center, Eugene, I looked at it all," laughed Austin.
The decision was nearly made about a week ago but Austin said he wanted to sit on it and pray to make sure he was making the right call.
"I just had to take a couple of days. I was really upset when I was denied at USF as this was the second time it happened to me," Austin said.
As a member of the 2010 high school class Austin committed to USF out of high school but was again denied admission and forced to go the junior college route.
Now Austin is excited for a fresh start in a new city where he hopes to put Oregon on the map for basketball while also becoming a better player.
"I don't have a real good relationship with the guys [on the Oregon roster] yet but that will change real quick," laughed Austin.
Austin's already taken the first step in reaching out to his new teammates via social media to let them know he's coming and ready to work.
"I don't know them per say but I've let them know I am coming and am ready to work. With me coming to Oregon, the talent coming back, and then you add the guys they signed I think we could be the best team in the Pac-12," says Austin.
"I feel like I could be that last missing piece to get Oregon to the NCAA Tournament."
Austin also says he has a message for his teammates and the Oregon fans.
"Pac-12 championship...that is why I am coming."
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