College, High School / Jul 9, 2010 / 1:25 pm

Austin Rivers H.S. Hoop Diary: Duke, UNC, Kentucky and One-and-Done

Austin Rivers (photo. Bruce Jacks)

Going into his senior year, Winter Park (Fla.) High School point guard Austin Rivers is ranked 2nd overall on the HighSchoolHoop.com national Top 50 list. Having recently de-committed from Florida, he now has Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky and the Gators vying for his signature.

The younger son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Austin has agreed to give HSH and Dime exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts in a regular diary. Here’s an excerpt from his latest entry:

*** *** ***

… Well, I helped the USA U18 team win the gold medal recently. It was a great experience. I didn’t know what to expect at first. We started with tryouts, which was something new for me. I just put my all into it and made the team, and right after that we went right into it with two-a-days for about 2.5 hours each practice.

It was just crazy to work so hard alongside great players like Kyrie Irving, Quincy Miller and Patric Young day in and day out. We gelled together really well and blew everyone out. Then in the championship game against Brazil, we got a real test. But our coach (Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel) pulled everyone together at the end and we ended up winning a gold medal!

It was cool to be a key contributor on a team with all of those upperclassmen. I felt like it was important for me to show what I could do the first couple of days that I was there. We all know what each other can do, but you’ve got to prove it every time.

My teammates were really the ones who gave me the respect to say, “You’re gonna be our go-to guy.” They really gave me and Kyrie the respect to have the ball in crunch time and we really stepped up and contributed to the team in a big way.

Of course, being there for 17 days meant we had a lot of downtime to just bug out and stuff like that. The weirdest dude on the team was definitely Patric Young. I mean that in a good way. This dude just walks around with his shirt on his head, muscles out and being a bully. In a funny way, though, but he’s just hilarious. Then you’ve got Kyrie … He’s just a clown. I don’t think people expect him to be as funny as he is.

Then the big story at the U18 games was me rocking my Duke gear… LOL… That’s pretty funny. It’s like this: When I went to Duke, I went to their team store and loaded up. I mean that store is just real cool. It’s got a lot of nice stuff in there. So when we won I decided to rock my Duke gear! I didn’t think it would be a huge story like it was, but hey, what can I say? I like wearing basketball shorts and T-shirts. …

… I want to hold off and watch (Irving) play next year a little before I decide. I want to see other players develop, too. Not just at Duke. You’ve got North Carolina. I want to see if Harrison Barnes stays, too. There’s a lot I want to take a look at with this decision.

Obviously, that means I won’t be deciding in August like I said before. Sorry about that, guys. I just want to make this the best decision for me and having gone through this once already I have to KNOW it’s the right thing for me. I don’t want any fans to read into this any kind of way. Nothing has changed with me other than time. I just know that I need to take my time with this one. Just look at it like I’m being thorough and making sure I’ll be happy, but don’t read into it deeper.

It’s really just me being thorough. I won’t go as far as Doron Lamb or Josh Selby. Those guys waited until the last second to decide. I’m thinking after about a month into the college basketball season is when I’ll decide. Maybe sometime in December, I’m thinking. That will give me time to see how guys are playing and see who looks like they’ll be around when I’m there and who won’t. That won’t be the only factor in my decision, but it will be a factor for sure. …

I would love to be a one-and-done. I think that’s every kid’s goal whether he admits it or not. But my ultimate goal is to go at the right time. If that’s after one year then so be it. If it’s two years then that’s fine too. I’m in no rush. The reason I say after one year is because that would mean that I was playing to my maximum potential and that’s always my goal when I step on the court. My criteria for leaving early would be being a top-10 pick. I think I can be a lottery pick for sure because I work SO hard and I put in the time to get better. …

You can read the rest of Austin’s diary at High School Hoop.

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  • GoGators!

    It would have been nice if Austin Rivers would have skipped his senior year in HS and joined the Gators this fall. The Gators’ back-court sure could have used more talent this upcoming season. If this guy Rivers thinks of himself as a “one-and-doner” in college than why bother with another year of high school competition? That won’t prepare you for the NBA. Two years at UF against college competition could serve Rivers better in the long run.

    Austin in deciding your choice of college (hopefully Florida), you might as well wait (around April/May) to decide a college until after the college basketball season ends and to see which athletes (i.e, Kyrie Irving, Kenny Boynton, Barnes, etc.) are going pro early. So far, Rivers has been kind of wishy-washy in his recruitment: first decommiting, than setting & changing deadlines to choose a college!

  • http://mysite.verizon.net/gpokmd/ Gregory Pokrywka MD, FACP

    Austin, why bother with a minor league situation like Florida ! Come to Duke and hopefully help Kyrie lead the Blue Devils to an unprecedented (recently) THIRD straight National Championship ! These other schools have NOTHIN’ like the Kyrie, and you know it !

  • Imneutral

    I’m hearing two things that I don’t like. I hear an ego that says me, me, me. I also hear a one and done approach. Neither is an asset on a Duke team. He may be better off at Kentucky with the other egos.

  • JP

    Kyrie stays, Rivers commits, simple.

  • GoGators!

    Lol at Dr. Porky! (3rd straight NC? How presumptuous.) Congrats to the Duke folks in winning a fluke NC at such a down period in college basketball – it was a push on whether Butler could have pulled it off, they had several chances in the end to take the lead while Duke failed to score in the last 2 minutes of the game – very fortunate for the Blue Devils!…We’ve seen better Duke teams (i.e, w/Elton Brand, Chris Carrawell – remember 2000, etc.) not win it all but I guess a NC is a NC! I wish my team was stronger last year to take advantage of the down year.

    Kyrie Irving seems to be a heady PG and should help Duke next year. But in this climate of leaving early for the NBA who knows if Rivers will team up with Irving. I wish Nick Calathes would have stuck around Florida instead of going to Greece last year – now that kid could really pass the ball, averaging 220+ assists/year and breaking all kinds of UF records including two triple doubles in a career!

    In 2011, Florida will have Rosario, Boynton(?), and Brad Beal in the back-court along with super athletic Patric Young, Eric Murphy & company in the front-court. Florida & Donovan are still in the running for C Rakeem Christmas, PF Johnny O’Bryant, SF Adonis Thomas and SG Austin Rivers! Doesn’t sound so minor league to me!

  • GoGators!

    I agree JP – Duke looks like the current favorite to land Rivers as long as Irving comes back for another year. Right now, Florida appears to have too much in their back-court but that could change should Boynton leave early!

  • GoGators!

    At first, I thought the same thing too about Rivers Imneutral. Florida also plays a similar team oriented style as Duke where all five players share the ball. But after rereading the last paragraph about one-and-done, Rivers is a team oriented player who just seems to be someone who is pursuing perfection in his quality of play – whether he attains it in his first year or second year of college remains to be seen!

  • Gators#1

    Even though it seems that he is a Duke lean I think Florida has a better chance to make a deep run in the tourney this year and next. If Rivers decide to re-commit to Florida we would have the best backcourt duo with Rivers and Beal and along with our big men in the frontcourt we should be one of if not the best team to beat…But Florida is definitely coming back to the top. But Austin I hope you make the best decision for you(I hope it’s Florida!!!). Go Gators!!!

  • Really?

    Gators#1… really? U think the gators have a better team for the next two years than duke? They return singler smith and the plumlees. They get a top of in Irving and a top shooting guard in curry. Rivers will slide into smiths role in a years time and bring Quincy miller with him. Irving rivers curry miller plumlee is a disgusting team. Unc Kentucky and Kansas all have far bigger question marks going forward and Florida will struggle in the sec nevermind nationally.

  • Gators#1

    The Older Plumlees,Irving,Singler,and Smith will be gone after this season..then who will you have? Quincy Miller is Kentucky to lose. So who would surround Rivers. At Florida you’re going to have the #2 SG in Brad Beal,Rosario,Boynton,Young,Murphy,etc just to name a few. I think Florida is going to have the best talent to surround Rivers IMO.