*Can create his own shot or get shots for teammates off the bounce
*Good 3-point shooter
*Not afraid to take big shots
*Could use a midrange, pull-up jumper in his arsenal
*Has to make more free throws
*Decision-making — when to shoot, when to dish, etc. — should improve as he matures
Rivers has been preparing for the NBA his whole life, given that he’s the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers. And he’s ready for the promotion to the next level. Rivers has the ability to create plays, for himself and others, and because he’s the son of a former NBA player and now coach, he knows exactly what he has to do to continue to get better.
Rivers was chosen the ACC’s Rookie of the Year after leading the Blue Devils in scoring. He etched a spot for himself in Duke’s storied history by knocking down a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that stunned North Carolina, 85-84, at Chapel Hill. He scored 29 points that night. Some pundits have described Rivers as selfish, but there was a lot of weight on his shoulders to score the ball for Duke, which was dealing late in the season with shooting slumps by guards Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins and an injury to face-up four man Ryan Kelly. He did hand out 71 assists, more than any freshman wing guard in the Coach K era, and second on the team. Some mislabeled him as a point guard, but he’s more of a combo guy.
15.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.3 tpg, 1.0 spg, 29.2 mpg, .433 FG, .365 3PT, .658 FT
Only three freshmen have led Duke in scoring, Bill Sapp (1945), Johnny Dawkins (1983) and Austin Rivers (2012).
Reminds me of:
What Insiders Say:
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
“The kid’s got a special quality. He wants to be in the moments and we’re going to put him in those situations and sink or swim.”
Duke associate head coach Chris Collins
“He’s a combo. He’s not a true point. If you put him at the point, you’re taking away one of his greatest strengths, the ability to be in attack mode at all times. But he’s not just a shooting guard, either. He’s very good in pick and rolls. He’s actually better with the ball in his hands, making plays off the dribble, instead of being a catch-and-shoot guy.”