Austin Rivers: A Player We’d Like To See In the ACC

July 5, 2010

It seemed like Austin Rivers was destined to stay near his home in Florida.

After he committed to the in-state Florida Gators, it seemed like a done deal. The Gators would get one of the best point guards in the 2011 class, Austin would stay close to home (Gainesville is relatively close to Winter Park, FL) and everything seemed settled.

But as Rivers continued to improve, he began to consider that he may have committed too early, and after mulling it over, eventually de-committed from the Gators and decided to weigh other offers. He still is considering Florida as a high possibility, but the full court press from other schools such as UNC and Duke is now in full effect.

Rivers, whose father is the famed ex-Atlanta Hawks PG, Doc Rivers, knows all about the world of basketball from his father’s current job as coach of the Boston Celtics, and an older brother who plays for Indiana:

“[Doc Rivers’] four kids like the idea of having a father who coaches in the NBA. Spencer loves shooting baskets at TD Garden before games. Austin Rivers is accustomed to seeing his father at a lot of his Winter Park High School games and fully understood that he had other responsibilities. Jeremiah Rivers will be a redshirt senior guard at Indiana.”

So where will Austin Rivers end up? Right now it’s still up in the air, but he is a special talent that we’d love to see in the ACC.

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Austin Rivers Loves Duke, But…

May 8, 2010

So Austin Rivers (PG, 6’4″, 2011), who has officially opened his recruitment back up and immediately mentioned Duke as a possible destination, has now visited Duke. No, that’s not so much news, but what is novel in the age of Twitter and blogging is that Austin has blogged about his visit to Duke on DimeMag.com:

That was really cool to see everything there. It was a major event! Just the history and the campus and seeing all my boys down there was really fun. I was actually feeling a little under the weather that night of the banquet, but there was so much going on that it didn’t stop me from having a good time.

What’s even more interesting is that Dime Magazine chose to give this story the headline “AUSTIN RIVERS H.S. HOOP DIARY: VISITING (AND LOVING) DUKE”. The meme that’s been repeated is that Austin loves Duke so much that he’s already a lock for Coach K, but nothing in the story indicates that. In fact, Austin states that his visit to Duke was extremely brief, and a more accurate representation of his visit would seem that he will need more information.

Austin goes on to give a timetable for his final decision:

My goal is to have a decision around August. I want to have it done before my high school season for sure, but I’m shooting for August. That looks doable right now.

This entire process could mirror the C.J. Leslie saga, where the hometown player commits to the local team early, then de-commits, then finally, after considering other options, goes with his first choice.

The reasons for Austin, or any player to go somewhere other than their original choice is either that they did not realize all of the options they might have or something could have changed with the original choice. For example, a coaching change. However, in many cases, the reasons that a player committed early are the same reasons available later.

Austin also states he will visit North Carolina soon.


ACC Recruiting: Round Up, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010

Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG, 6’4″ , 2010), one of the two solid guards coming in for the Wolfpack, continues to communicate with current players as they made a small run in the NIT. Brown was encouraging his future teammates with text messages, a sure sign that he’s already mentally on the roster.

Video of Lorenzo Brown:

Tyler Adams (C, 6’8″, 2010) now has an offer from the Duke Blue Devils. He was already being recruited by Clemson, Alabama and Memphis, but with Duke in the picture, he now says Duke is his leader.

C.J. Leslie (SF, 6’9″, 2010), down to the NC State Wolfpack and the Kentucky Wildcats, has a nice write up on HoopDoctors, although there’s no new information regarding his recruitment.

Austin River
(PG/SG, 6’4″, 2010) is still considering Duke as well, even though he says he’s committed to the Florida Gators.

Papa Samba Ndao
(SF, 6’8″, 2010), a commitment for the Boston College Eagles, not only has the best name for a 2010 recruit but also adds size for the Eagles on the wing. Look for Ndao to help shore up BC’s graduation losses.


ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup, July 4th, 2008

July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

Just a few days after we posted that Austin Rivers (PG, 6’3″, 2011) listed UNC but really liked Florida, he pulled the trigger and has committed to the Gators.

In the same story, Nolan Dennis(SG/SF, 6’5″, 2009) is reportedly headed to Memphis. At one time UNC was heavily involved in the recruitment of Dennis, but it seems likely that once UNC signed Leslie McDonald (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2009), Dennis would go elsewhere.

Noel Johnson and Georgia Tech

Scout.com is reporting that Noel Johnson has visited Georgia Tech recently, telling GoJackets.com’s Shane Connell:

“It was great because we like Paul Hewitt as a coach anyway, but the school, the organizers, the way that they run things is a plus. They stress a lot of academic work, which is what we are looking for.”

Mason Plumlee and the U-18 team

Duke signee Mason Plumlee (PF, 6’11”, 2009) has made the cut of fourteen finalists for the U-18 USA Basketball roster.

Sean Mosley, good news for Terp fans

Finally, a bit of good news for Terp faithful: Sean Mosley( SG, 6’4″, 2008 Commit), has gotten clearance to attend Maryland, although there are things still up the air about Steve Goins.

Lance Stephenson, not born ready

So back to the U-18 trials, it turns out that Lance Stephenson apparently dented the persona that he’s the next phenom, according to this scathing story from Seth Davis. He reports that Stephenson not only played poorly – very poorly – but that he was a horrible teammate:

Even worse, after every mistake he acted like it was someone else’s fault. He barked at his teammates. He whined to the refs. He rolled his eyes and slapped his thighs. He shook his head and muttered to himself.

Davis also goes on to point out that even though Stephenson is being hyped as the next NBA sure thing, he is not:

It’s a safe bet nobody would say those things about Stephenson if he were from, say, Phoenix instead of New York. At any rate, Stephenson demonstrated quite clearly at the Team USA trials that he is none of those things — not yet, anyway.

It’s a very juicy article, but it raises a key point about the NBA and the one-year-rule. Just a few days ago we heard from Lance’s dad that if there was no rule, his son would jump straight to the league. Well, here is where the rule comes into play: if Lance is really ready for the NBA, he should have no problem proving it when he plays in the 2009-2010 season in the NCAA. But as a rising high school senior, apparently any talk of that is premature.


Austin Rivers’ List Includes UNC

July 1, 2008

You might have last seen Austin Rivers (PG, 6’3″, 2011) standing on the sideline with his dad as the Boston Celtics mercilessly pounded the Los Angeles Lakers and walked away with championship banner number seventeen. The slender Rivers seemed to calmly take it all in as his dad tried to maintain some semblance of order amid the chaos.

But now it’s time to turn some of the spotlight on the younger Rivers, whose brother is already playing D1 ball. Alex asks him about his game and his college options in this interview with Rivers, who gives a breakdown of who’s offered and who he’s considering:

NB: What schools are you currently considering?
AR: Florida, right now. . . . University of Florida, that’s most likely.

NB: Is that your dream school?
AR: It’s one of them. I’ve always liked them and Texas, and North Carolina, and Kansas. Those are the . . . four right there.

NB: Who do currently have an offer from?
AR: Florida, [Central Florida], and . . . I’m going to try to go visit Memphis, Kansas, and Texas.

Of course, a lot of players list UNC and Kansas, but time will tell.

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