I think we can finally put to rest the notion that Coach K’s time and effort for Team U.S.A. is “hurting” Duke. Don’t you agree?
Welcome Austin Rivers, the No. 1 rated high school player.
Who is Rivers (Like I really have to answer this question for any Duke fan, but I will anyway)?
Offensively, there is nothing Doc Rivers’ kid can’t do. He can shoot from almost 30-feet away and his mid-range game will be unheard of for a incoming freshman. He’s wicked quick, with a NBA-ready dribble-drive. He can play either point or two-guard, but if we are to assume that Kyrie Irving goes pro after one year, Seth Curry should have control of the point in 2011. With Nolan Smith’s departure, the shooting guard spot belongs to Rivers (sorry Dawkins).
If you want to find one weakness, word on the street is that Rivers favors his right. It’s not like he can’t go left, but he’s probably never really been challenged to at the high school & summer league level. This will change in college, so expect him to work on it throughout his senior year.
Getting Austin Rivers isn’t truly shocking. Once he de-committed from Florida, all the experts had pegged Duke. However, it was a bit surprising (and nice) that he simply cancelled trips to both Kansas and North Carolina. As a Duke fan, this had to feel especially sweet, after Roy Williams robbed Harrison Barnes last summer.
With the addition of Rivers, Duke clearly has the No. 1 or No. 2 class in 2011. The other solid group belongs to Coach Calipari and Kentucky.
On top of Austin Rivers, Duke now has (SF-4) Michael Gbinije, (C-11) Tyler Adams, and (C-5) Marshall Plumlee.
Some have speculated that the Duke coaching staff may be done recruiting in 2011. I suspect otherwise.
We know that Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith graduate, so they’re done after this year. Like we said before, Kyrie Irving could easily be one and done (especially if the Blue Devils can repeat). What about Mason Plumlee? Obviously I’m doing a lot of projecting (which has gotten me in trouble in the past), but he’s projected to be a middle of the pack first-round pick next year. Would he stay on another year, especially with the opportunity to play along side both brothers? Maybe.
As best as I can tell, Duke still has (PG-3) Quinn Cook and (PF-1) Quincy Miller. Both will be in town for “Countdown To Craziness,” so that’s a good sign.