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Duke makes official what we all knew: Austin Rivers going pro

Mar 26, 2012, 7:58 PM EDT

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Lehigh v Duke Getty Images

This was about as big a secret as who Michele Obama is going to vote for in the fall, but now it is official.

Duke point guard Austin Rivers is leaving the school to enter the NBA draft, the University announced Monday. Like we said, no shock as it had been reported last week.

On twitter Rivers wrote:

I just want to thank all the fans that have supported me this year. it was so fun playing there and becoming apart of the duke family!… I appreciate everybody, and the support y’all have given me! Duke nation has truly made me a better person and player! Duke #1

Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, will go in the first round — DraftExpress has him at No. 17.

The question is where he fits in the NBA. He played the point at Duke, but he is either a shoot first point or more likely an undersized two guard. He has a crossover that can create space and he can knock down shots. He’s not an elite athlete at the NBA level but he plays the game with a high IQ. Almost like he was the son of a former NBA point guard and a coach.

  1. eugenesaxe - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Think daddy will pull some strings to get him to Boston?

  2. isujames - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    ^or your mom.

  3. cordae - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    I hope he develops, because i just cannot see it right now.

    He’s Jimmer with a baby crossover and less range.

  4. glink123 - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:16 PM


  5. marquesknows - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Stay in school.

    You are no where near ready.

    It’s not too late to change your mind. Learn from the likes of Battier who stayed in school and became a better player.

    Kid you need to get much stronger.

    You can’t dominate Lehigh and you think you are ready for the NBA ? Really ?

    As a father Doc you should be honest with your son and tell him the truth. If his name was Jones he wouldn’t be given the time of day.

    He will get killed.

  6. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    he has steph curry’s “it” factor, but an inconsistent shot. immature on the court and physically immature…doesn’t bode well for pros.

  7. lakerluver - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Why not stay at Duke another year and develop his body and his game? Seems like the decision to go pro after one year was made long BEFORE he got to Duke. Rivers will probably be a 10 year pro but it’s not like his family’s hurting for money. He was in the perfect position to stay in college and really develop his game. Kids these days just wanna make it to the NBA. They don’t wanna be great players in the NBA.

    • eugenesaxe - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

      If you’re not used to having money, that guaranteed 1st-round contract looks real nice. Why Rivers would jump…*shrug* Inflated ego or bad advice.

  8. savvybynature - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Too bad the Spurs had to trade their 1st rd. pick to shed RJs contract. He’d be a good fit backing up another guy who was once a young, shoot-first pg that people weren’t that high on, and that is now a borderline MVP candidate.

  9. transam7816 - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    it was so fun playing there and becoming APART of the duke family!
    He obviously needs another year of schooling.

  10. captainwisdom8888 - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Dumb. Like one more year of school would afford him the knowledge to add a space to that sentence. The kid’s message is clear, and if he wanted to go pro after just 1 year than I respect him for doing exactly what he wanted.

  11. thebigkahuna23 - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    I think he could have went down as one of the all time greats in duke history if he stayed a few more years. Right
    Now I don’t think he’s NBA ready. Everybody in the nba could score in college. Rivers doesn’t do much more right now and he won’t be that quick by nba standards

  12. jthammerstix - Mar 27, 2012 at 5:06 AM

    He didn’t play point guard.

  13. aaronmushrush - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Austin is NOT NBA ready and TRUE basketball fans would know this. I am a die-hard Duke fan and as sweet as that GW shot was thats on the short list of clutch moments Austin had this year. For someone with such a high basketball IQ he DESTROYED Duke’s offense. Our first year having size over a handful of teams and we didnt use it to our advantage one bit. Austin NEVER looked defenders off and the whole arena knew when he was driving and when he was dishing. You talk about PGIII disappearing against Kentucky for a half…Austin was a NON-FACTOR at the end of the Leigh game and shyed away from the moment. Austin could develop into a polished Rondo…but give me one example of a player developing better in the NBA than college. Austin, take a page out of Robinson’s book or at least Sullinger’s and grow as a point guard, the only position you could logically play in the NBA. Speaking of growing, take time to do that, as strong as you are Austin you can get stronger and grow into yourself. Who knows who’s right and i was wrong about Kyrie coming out but he is a different player. All the best either way.

  14. jebdamone - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    pretty sure rivers did not mostly play point at duke. also he is barely an undersized 2 guard at 6’4 and is only 19 so may grow another inch or two. i see no reason why he chose to enter the draft this year. i see this move only hurting him. he really could use another year under coach K at duke to grow as a player and a person plus he could have the distinct honor of winning a NCAA championship. i was very surprised at this announcement.

  15. jolink653 - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    after how duke got embarrassed in the tournament you would think this kid would want to stay at least one more year and redeem himself and the team by making a deep run next year…that being said this is an extremely deep draft so he’ll drop far and with his game being where it is i don’t see him being an effective nba player for awhile…he’s better off staying and learning more and working on improving his game

  16. tomtravis76 - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Its tough to tell someone to hold off in making millions of dollars and getting to see the country/world on someone elses dime, no matter if their family comes from money, it will now be his money. He grew up around the pro game, he knows the lifestyle and benefits. While it would have been interesting to see the kid develop over the next couple of seasons in college, why stay, he can still get a degree from Duke, eventually.

    The NBA needs to grow the D league, keep young talent in teams pipeline for development that don’t want to go to college. It might help the overall product in the association by having a true minor league with every franchise having a D league team. It would also help the college game by keeping guys in college for 2-4 years.

  17. saintsfan65 - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    He will be in new Orleans.

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