Nation's #1 Recruit Austin Rivers in Town for McDonald's All-American Game


Wednesday night, the McDonald's All-American
game hits Chicago, and with it a showcase of the greatest high school
talent in the country. Which means you'll also see the best freshmen in
next year's college basketball season on display; as well as a few lottery picks in the 2012 NBA Draft.

And there's no bigger name than Austin Rivers, a Duke Blue Devils commit that who has taken home the Morgan Wooten Player of the Year Award and the Parade Magazine POY. Rivers talked about why he choose Duke.

"I just looked at a school that fit in with my style of play, and I
developed a great relationship with Coach K.," Rivers said. "

And I could see myself getting better as a person and a player."

Rivers, as you probably heard, as tremendous basketball bloodlines. His father is Chicago local legend Doc Rivers, former NBA guard and current Coach of the Boston Celtics. His older brother Jeremiah played for the Indiana Hoosiers and Georgetown Hoyas.

So does Austin have something to prove/a chip on his shoulder given the family standard he has to live up to?

"Not anymore, but when I was little I always felt like I had to prove
something. But now I just go out there and play my game and have fun, I
don't have anything to prove to anybody. I love the game and respect
the game and everything just falls into place," Rivers said.

Rivers learned a lot from seeing his older brother play at two of the premier college basketball programs in the nation.

"I think I benefited from watching him, I've seen what he's overcome
with injuries. He always helped me with my work ethic. I thought I
worked hard in high school. Until I saw him," Rivers said.

Rivers is probably the most prolific offensive player in this class.
He's a 6-4, 189 lb combo guard who should fill in nicely for Kyrie
, who will no doubt leave early for the NBA. Rivers is advanced
beyond his years in both talking with the media
and his fundamental skill level. He also has a competitive drive that
sets him apart from his peers and a killer instinct in crunch time.

So then the question becomes who would juxtapose Rivers with? "Austin Rivers is the next ____"

"I like to watch a lot of players, I love the way Derrick Rose and
Dwanye Wade plays but I kind of have my own style of game, a little bit
of both. It's important to score and but also to get everyone involved.
And Derrick Rose does that. He's averaging 24 points per game, but also 8
assists per game," said Rivers who will probably play both a major
scoring and distributing role in Durham next year.

But Rivers isn't perfect. Here's what is listed as "Weaknesses" under his ESPN profile:

"definite area of needed improvement that sticks out about Rivers is
that not only does he love going to his right the majority of times he
has the ball, but if forced to his left he does not attack with the
same aggressiveness. When played to his left he is reduced to relying
on a one-or-two dribble step-back jumper for the majority of his
offense. Needs to play in a stance on defense more often especially
away from the ball and not hop around looking for a steal."

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He's also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank


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    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington, NBC and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

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