Lost in the hype of Kid’s Day on Saturday was the announcement that Mt. Vernon guard Austin Ash was offered a preferred walk-on spot in the class of 2017.
2017 guard Austin Ash of Mt Vernon has been offered a preferred walk-on spot at the U of Iowa. Lots to think about- Congrats @upsideash!— Iowa Barnstormers (@IA_Barnstormers) August 13, 2016
Apparently Mr. Ash isn’t a great poker player. A few hours after word got out the young man had been offered, he jumped at the opportunity and announced on Twitter that he plans to accept the offer.
What, you hadn’t heard of Austin Ash before this weekend? Guess you don’t pay attention to 3A hoops in eastern Iowa. Fair enough. Let’s get you acquainted.
Ash is a 6’2” guard from Mt. Vernon and plays for the Iowa Barnstormers on the AAU circuit. The name may be vaguely familiar if you’re an Iowa hoops fiend (I’m sure there are none of you lurking here) who followed the Prime Time League at all. Ash was the lone high school player to participate and while I wouldn’t say he lit things up, he held his own enough to get the attention of Fran and Co.
Being more than a couple years younger than most other competitors made it a bit of a tall task, but Ash managed to average 4.3 points a game on 37.5% shooting from beyond the arc. When asked about the experience by the Gazette earlier this summer, Ash had this to say:
“I know I can hang with anybody,” Ash said. “They might be bigger or stronger or faster but I know I can hang with anybody.”
For the Barnstormers, Ash seems to be more in his element. On a team with fellow Iowa commit Connor McCaffery and his West High teammate, Devontae Lane, Ash was third on the squad in scoring at 8.8 ppg. It’s a small sample size, but the 3-point shooting numbers are certainly eye-catching. 68.8%. Sign. Me. Up.
In the high school ranks at Mt. Vernon, Ash led the Mustangs with 16 ppg on 48.1% shooting overall and 42.6% from beyond the arc. As a preferred walk-on, Austin will look to build on the legacy started by Nicholas Baer for walk-ons contributing to the Hawkeye program under Fran.
Ash will join Connor McCaffery as the only two commits in the 2017 class for now. As we mentioned in a previous post, Fran seems to still be looking for a big man to add on scholarship, even if there are no open spots at the moment.
For a closer look at Ash’s game, take a look at the only mixtape that seems to be floating around the interwebz. It’s over a year old (so from the year before he was a junior), but you should get the idea as to what his talents seem to be.
Welcome aboard Austin Ash.