Rivers keeping eye on son at Duke

Rivers keeping eye on son at Duke
November 18, 2011, 2:34 am
Share This Post

DORCHESTER Freshman guard Austin Rivers came to Duke as one of the nation's top players, the kind of lofty status that always generates a bunch of one (year)-and-done talk.

But with the NBA lockout already wiping out hundreds of games already - and more likely to come in the coming weeks - you have to wonder if he or any other highly-touted player is all that eager to make that jump.

Austin's father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, said his son hasn't really paid too much attention to the many issues that have factored into the stalemate between the owners and the union.

"He's just trying to be a better player. He's had good games and bad games already as a freshman," the elder Rivers said. "He's just trying to not be a freshman."

In three games for the Blue Devils (3-0), Rivers has averaged 12 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field.

Rivers said he wouldn't be surprised if there are some highly regarded college players following what's going on with the NBA, rather closely.

"I can tell you he's not," Doc Rivers said. "He's more concerned about winning."

Austin Rivers opened his college career with a couple of solid scoring nights against relatively weak opponents in Belmont and Presbyterian.

But in Duke's 74-69 win over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, he was limited to just five points while missing six of his seven shots from the field.

"He played the other night in the Garden and got in foul trouble (he finished with four personal fouls for the game) and didn't play great," Rivers said. "But he got to be part of one of the biggest wins in college basketball history.

With the win over Michigan State, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski picked up career victory No. 903, which makes him the winningest coach in men's Division I basketball history.

"That's pretty cool," the elder Rivers said of the milestone. "I think he's (Austin Rivers) more into that right now."