Austin still open


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.


  1. Still has two more years of HS? Who is is “good” when the time comes will be his “leader.” Florida has a very bright future and suddenly he is singing a different song. Not sure which is more egregious, this kid playing favorites or Brockway giving it the time of day.

  2. I don’t think Rivers sees Florida as a big basketball school (yea, yea I know two basketball N Championships). I think his interest is just social talk. What do you think his dad is telling him? I don’t think Donovan is spending alot of time recruiting this guy but at least he’s keeping his presence there…we’ll see.

  3. u get what u deserve when u recruit 9th and 10 graders.Let them keep growing up. Sure I want Rivers for Florida, but the 12th grade is a lot different from freshman and sophmore years,and hopefully smarts start to emerge

  4. IMHO,these two guys would be the final peices for a championship run type team. We’ve got the front court guys we’ve needed and these guys would be that dynamic back court giving us an all around solid team. Glad to see Coach D still competing for this guy.

  5. Elias is right but don’t think that Rivers is playing Donovan and staff. Donovan decided after missing on Patterson that he would not be hand tied by a recruit again. Beal and Rosario will do nicely for us. Rivers is a great player and I’m sure he will do well wherever he goes but don’t think he is duping the UF coaches. Donovan and staff were on hand to see and show support for Beal.

  6. Doc is said to be a close friend of Billy. If Dad has his way, Austin might be a Gator. However, it will ultimately be the kid’s decision and no one can predict what is going to happen until he officially signs.

  7. I’m miffed at some of the comments here. He’s a very solid young man and seems to be level-headed. He’s got more options so why not explore them? All of Doc’s kids have played D1 ball and he seems to stay out of the way. He never rode Winter Park’s coaching staff like Darius Washington Jr.s dad did while he was at Edgewater, so why would he do that at the college level. I hope he chooses us, but if not, then best of luck to him.