Austin wavering

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While Florida got encouraging news on 2010 small forward commitment Casey Prather on Wednesday, the news on 2011 point guard commitment Austin Rivers is more troubling.

Apparently, Rivers sounds as if he’s prepared to re-open his recruitment between Duke and Florida following his visit to Durham, N.C.,  the weekend of Sept. 19.

“I still love Florida so much, but after I visited Duke I have to sit back and think about it over the next few days, weeks or so,” Rivers told CSS. “It was a great experience, just an awesome visit, so it makes me think a lot about what I will be doing in the future. I’m just a junior so I am in no rush to make a decision. I want to take my time and make a smart one.

“I will definitely be back to Duke next year for an official visit, and I would definitely love to get back to Duke for a game this year. I went there a while back for a game against Georgetown, and I want to go back and just be around the atmosphere again. The passion about Duke basketball is just ridiculous. I want to go experience that again.

“But, I really haven’t thought about de-committing, committing to Duke or opening things up. Right now I just love Duke and Florida. Those are the only two schools. Schools have respected coach (Billy) Donovan and not tried to call or get involved since I committed. Duke didn’t start recruiting me until after I said I wanted to take a visit.”

I’m sure some Florida fans will be livid at Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for interfering with Rivers, but keep in mind, this is part of the cutthroat world of college hoops recruiting. Nothing is final until a letter of intent is signed.

One of the top basketball players in Florida history, Al Horford, reneged on a verbal commitment to Michigan. More recently, top 2010 point guard recruit Josh Selby backed out of a verbal commitment to Tennessee and now appears headed to Kentucky. Tennessee sophomore forward Scotty Hopson backed out of a verbal commitment to Mississippi State to sign with the Vols.

What goes around, comes around.

And keep in mind it was Donovan and his staff who swooped in last summer to woo current UF freshman guard Kenny Boynton while Krzyzewski was overseas coaching the U.S. Olympic basketball team to a 2008 gold medal. Boyton acknowledged that Florida’s interest last summer tipped the scales in his decision to sign with the Gators over Duke. Had Krzyzewski been around, could things have been different?

Rivers, a Winter Park native and son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, committed to Florida at the end of his freshman year in high school. He’s the second-ranked prospect in the Class of 2011 according to ESPN.com and the eighth-ranked prospect in 2011 according to Rivals.com.




7 COMMENTS

  1. This makes perfect sense if you know anything about the Rivers’ family and Doc. They are total front-runners. UF wins a couple ‘ships…Austin commits. They go to a couple NIT’s and Coach K wins in the Olympics, now Duke looks good to them. The Rivers are little league parents who’s dad coaches in the big leagues.

  2. face it, its over gators.
    Calipari at Kentucky is going to change things tremendously.
    the big bad bully is awake and angry.
    now Kentucky is going to start stomping all over the conference like the old days.

    you had your ride, its time to get off now and just pay attention to football.

  3. To SECbballfan and others : Envy is the sincerest form of flattery. UK brings corruption and sleaze(Calipari) back to the forefront in attempt to regain any sense of a successful program. This highlights the depth of your sad, obnoxious fans. We will pay attention to football, until January. Jealous much ? losers.

  4. You are too funny, SEC_bball_fan, just too funny. How long before calipari gets kentucky on probation?? I give it two years at most. He has managed to screw both Massachusetts and Memphis so far. kentucky is not far behind. Bank on it….he is a scumbag, and why anyone would want to play for him is beyond me.

  5. Let’s face it Billy has done a really poor job as a coach since his two national championships. Can’t get his guys in shape, can’t develop freshman, can’t play defense, can’t retain players. I love the Gators, but Billy needs to get his crap together. I would not consider playing for him if I was a good high school player, I do not blame Austin for reconsidering…maybe he wants to play in an NCAA tournament.

  6. Hey Jeff, why are you so negative? I saw a recent Boston Globe article interviewing Doc Rivers and he indicated that “Austin is a Florida Kid all the way!” and will most likely stay committed to the Gators. Especially, with the recent recruiting done by Donovan and his staff. Billy is building a more rugged, defensive oriented frontline with commits C Young, SF Prather to go along with upperclassmen Macklin, Tyus, Murphy, and Kaji. His backcourt is not too shabby either with SG Kenny Boynton, PG Irving Walker and others.

    In 2007, BD had to rebuild his entire team from scratch and those teams did not have enough front-court depth. This year’s team is much deeper, athletic and hopefully more savy since it is a veteran group. The Gators will surprise everybody this year!

    Hey Kitty Kat! UF won 8/10 basketball games against your team, the Gators aren’t going anywhere. It looks like Kentucky sold its soul to the Devil to get whatever fleeting future success Calipari brings ya. You will most likely have a day of reckoning with the NCAA and have whatever you achieved erased from the record books!