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Austin Rivers to declare for the NBA Draft (Updated)

Mar 23, 2012, 11:20 AM EDT

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Lehigh v Duke Getty Images

Austin Rivers intends to enter his name in the NBA Draft, per a report, although Duke announced today that nothing is yet official and his decision will come next week.

If Rivers does end up leaving school, it should come as no surprise. The 6’3″ freshman, who averaged 15.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.1 apg, is projected as a first round pick — Draft Express currently lists him 17th, although there are many that expect him to jump into the lottery — and has always seemed to carry himself like a one-and-doner. You can also be assured that Rivers got the best advice on where his standing is as a prospect; his father is Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Boston Celtics.

Rivers came a long way during the season. Early on, he struggled trying to blend into a team setting. It was always the Austin Rivers show when he was playing at the high school level, so learning to deal with having teammates that wanted touches as well was a difficult thing for him to grasp. To his credit, his decision making and shot selection did get better throughout the season.

The question that NBA GM’s have is what position Rivers will play. He’s not a point guard, but there are legitimate concerns that he doesn’t have the size or the raw athleticism to play the two in the league.

There are also rumors going around that Mason Plumlee will be entering the draft as well, although nothing is official yet.

Duke’s season ended last week when the No. 2 seed Blue Devils lost to No. 15 Lehigh in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

  1. cardiodok - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Get real!

    Anyone who has watched Duke play this year has seen Rivers improve. But has he matched the expectations of a top 5 prospect? Has he truly proven himself ready to be a NBA guard? Is he truly ready to jump after this season’s performance and record? Even his father knows the real answer to these questions. And the answer clearly is not yes. Does he have financial need? Same answer.

    And losing to Lehigh?

    And who thinks Mason Plumlee is ready for the NBA? Just look at his last 10-15 games. His name should be changed to Clumsee.

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