Despite reports that he’s leaning toward committing to Duke, Austin Rivers said following Tuesday night’s AAU Super Showcase that he’s still open to a number of schools, including Florida.
Rivers committed to UF as a ninth-grader before re-opening his recruitment last April. Rivers has listed his top three schools as Duke, Florida and North Carolina in no particular order.
“Right now I’m not leaning toward anybody and I like all schools the same,” Rivers said. “I haven’t taken any official visits yet so I don’t have any favorites over the others. But I’m really looking forward to making the visits and I’m excited about talking to people.”
Rivers said he does not plan on scheduling his official visits until the start of the school year next month.
Rivers was effective in leading Each One Teach One Elite to a 77-60 win over the St. Louis Eagles in Tuesday night’s AAU Super Showcase finals at the Disney Complex. Rivers, from nearby Winter Park, scored 24 points while rotating between point guard and shooting guard. With his quick cross-over dribble, Rivers got to the free-throw line often, making 12 of 13 attempts.
Rivers, the son of former NBA point guard and current Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, admitted that he “may have” committed to UF too early. But he doesn’t think that a proposed rule that would keep players from verbally committing to schools until the July before their senior year is necessary.
“If it was the right place, it’s the right place,” Rivers said. “If you commit in eighth grade and you commit and it’s always the right place, it’s never too early. I think if you are ready to go somewhere, you are ready to go. Just like them coming up with the rule that you have to stay at college for two years, if you are ready to go, you are ready to go.
“How are you going to hold someone back? I think it’s never too early, it’s just the situation I was in I thought it would be right to take my time and make the right decision.”
Florida coach Billy Donovan and assistant Rob Lanier were on hand to watch Tuesday night’s finals. But the Milk House also had a significant Duke contingent. Former Duke point guard Jay Williams, working for ESPNU, handed out the awards to both teams following the game. And former Duke forward Grant Hill was on hand and was spotted chatting up Rivers following the game (a secondary violation, perhaps?).
Rivers said he appreciated Donovan and Lanier being there.
“It means a lot, it shows their support, the Duke coaches and them, all the North Carolina coaches and all the schools that are interested came out and watched me,” Rivers said. “I’m really proud and really fortunate they took the time to see me play.”
Donovan and Lanier also were on hand to watch UF commit Bradley Beal, who had a rough finals performance for the St. Louis Eagles. Beal scored 12 points, going 5 of 15 from the floor and 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Afterward, the five-star shooting guard called it the worst game he ever played.
Beal said his commitment to Florida remains strong despite reports that Kansas is trying to woo him away. Beal can sign a letter of intent to UF as early as this November.