Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Austin Rivers has committed to Florida, but his AAU coach says Duke is leading for his services.
“Now Duke would be the leader but again he’s only been to two places,” Each 1 Teach 1 coach Therion Joseph said in a phone interview.
The 6-foot-3 Rivers plays for Winter Park (Fla.) High and is the No. 2 shooting guard in the Class of 2011.
He initially made a verbal commitment to Florida but opened it up and is now considering Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and Florida.
“He’s opening it up to everybody,” Joseph said. “He’s going to take a visit to North Carolina. He just talked to Rick Barnes [Monday] and he’s going to take a visit to Texas. And then he will make the best decision for his style of play and hope he gets a good education.”
Joseph said Rivers will likely visit Texas after the USA U18 tryouts in San Antonio June 17-25.
He said no dates have yet been set for visits to North Carolina, Kansas or Kentucky.
“I’m not sure when they’re going to visit North Carolina. [It will be] before the summer ends,” Joseph said.
He added: “He hasn’t really talked about Kansas or Kentucky with me. He might just visit other schools for the [sake] of visiting.”
Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, visited Duke April 22-23 after the Devils won the NCAA championship and enjoyed it.
“When you go visit Duke you’re like why the hell would I go anywhere else?” Joseph asked. “It has great facilities. We caught them in the hoopla of raising the banner. We caught them at the time when they very upbeat, very positive. Coach K is a great guy.”
He added: “Everything fits his style at Duke but I’m sure if he goes to North Carolina with their tradition and what they have, he’s going to love UNC. He has to sift through it and decide which university is going to help him become a better young man and which school’s going to help him become a better basketball player.”
Joseph said Rivers is inclined to attend a basketball school like Duke, North Carolina or Kentucky, as opposed to a football school like Florida.
“Florida is obviously a very good program but basketball is just one of their sports,” Joseph said. “Duke sells out every game and Florida is fighting to get half their students there.
“He likes to play with a bulls-eye on his back. He plays better with a bulls-eye. He wants to play at a school that is on ESPN every day, kind of like Notre Dame in football.”
(Photo courtesy Rivals.com)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.