If a player is projected as a first-round NBA Draft pick, but decides to come back to school, there might be many reasons as to why. Things like improving the player’s overall game, getting a degree or making a run at some college basketball lore might be some of the more popular reasons. Usually, though, it ends up being a combination of some of those as well as others.
For Baylor Bears center, Isaiah Austin, some of the reasons definitely pertain to him, although there is also something perceived to be much simpler to obtain that he really needs to do — put on some weight.
Austin is 7-foot-1, but only listed as being a tad bit heavier than 200 pounds. That is a very tall man in a very thin frame, meaning — and shown during last season — opponents have a relatively easy time forcing Austin’s already-limited post game off of the block.
It goes without saying that he will need to improve on his post moves to help his draft stock as well as any chances Baylor has at success next season. However, if Austin does not become a bigger, more physical player, then it does not really matter if his moves underneath become much more versatile as he will still have a hard time staying on the block.
The key for Austin will be a combination of eating the right food (not hamburgers as the title suggests), working hard in the weight room and being under the right tutelage of whoever is in charge of the Baylor strength and conditioning program.
Here’s the odd thing about weight, though — it is not as easy to gain for a 20-something who is very active in their daily lives. For us who are a little bit older, sure, putting on the pounds seems far too easy. As for Austin, well, putting on weight may prove to be more difficult than becoming a better overall offensive post-player.
Someone on that campus needs to buy this kid lunch — now.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone