Illinois Fighting Ilini big man Austin Colbert is currently second in the rotation behind Nnanna Egwu, and ahead of Maverick Morgan. He played 10 minutes and scored 4 points in the season opening blowout of Alabama State. Yes, I’m very aware that the 6-9, 210 freshman from Chesapeake, Virginia does not have a last name pronounced like Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report.
I’m aware that Austin Colbert is pronounced “Coal-burt.” Still on the internet, in print, the bit works. Not in broadcasting, it doesn’t but this isn’t broadcasting. Because THIS IS THE Colbert Report!
Austin Colbert played in the Jordan Brand Classic regional game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn before he came to U of I. Perhaps he met Illini legend Deron Williams while we was there. Colbert figures to matter quite a bit for the Illini, in this year of transition.
“We’re going to be a team that needs to do this by committee, they have to be an NBA All-Star in their role. Period. As soon as one of them is not, with this team it’s not good enough, we need every body ready to go,” Illini coach John Groce said.
In game 2, a blowout of Jacksonville State, Colbert played 3 minutes than in the first game and did not commit any turnovers in 13 minutes. He had 2 TOs in 10 min in the first game. He also had three rebounds in that game.
“I thought he looked a little bit more comfortable out there. He looked better out there than he did on Friday night,” said Groce on Colbert.
Unfortunately, game three, a double digit win over Valparaiso, was a step back for Colbert. He played just four minutes, and did not register in the stat sheet. This despite the fact that Nnanna Egwu fouled out. Could be a long year for Colbert, we’ll see. Big Ten conference play is where we’ll really find out.
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Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the world; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSSPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks