ESPN.com reports that Austin Rivers, the son of Celtics head coach Doc Rivers , has committed to Duke, according to his high school coach.
Rivers is the No.1-ranked basketball player in the high school class of 2011 by ESPN and Yahoo Sports’ Rivals. He committed to Florida briefly last year last season This time, Rivers’s choice came down to Duke, Kansas, or North Carolina.
Rivers ultimately chose Duke because of Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K is coming off of a national championship last April, a world championship two weeks ago, and Duke is the favorite to repeat as national champions.
“He picked Duke because of [Krzyzewski] and his staff,” Bailey said. “There is a ton of tradition at Duke, and it was the best place for him from a basketball and academic standpoint.”
In his junior season at Winter Park High School in Florida, Rivers averaged 23.9 points per game and 1.9 steals per game, leading Winter Park to a state title. On August 31st, Rivers was the MVP of the Elite 24 All-Star Game which featured 10 top 100-rated high school stars, according to ESPN rankings. In the game, Rivers had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in a losing effort. Paul Biancardi of ESPN believes Rivers will fit in well at Duke and produce from Day 1.
The 6-foot-4, 189-pound Rivers could have an immediate impact once he gets to Cameron in Duke’s up-tempo, fast-breaking style of play. He is a prolific scorer, has range out to 28 feet and an excellent mid-range game. He uses the jab-step as well as seasoned pros, can finish through contact when attacking the basket and has the best NBA-level floater over bigs of any player in the high school or college ranks.
Rivers certainly will thrive in Duke’s perimeter-oriented offense, but I think Biancardi may have exagerating a bit when he wrote that Rivers has range out to 28 feet. When I saw Rivers play at the Springfield HoopHall Classic, I don’t recall him shooting any shots from almost ten feet behind the arc.