By James Blackburn

Austin Rivers
Photo Source: Bleacher Report

Game Scouted: Duke @ Wake Forest
Box Score

Duke wins 79-71

Scouting Report

Austin Rivers (G, 6’4”, FR)


5-12 FG, 0-3 3pt, 0-1 FT, 4 reb, 2 assist, 3 PF, 3 TO, 10 TP


Very quick first step- NBA ready. Showed versatility on defense tonight- matched up with Travis McKie (6’7, F) and guards in Chase Fischer, CJ Harris, and Chennault this game- smart move by Coach K- Rivers has done a great job neutralizing McKie by not allowing him to dribble drive. Plays the passing lanes well. Has a great understanding of spreading the court and court spacing- result of having Doc Rivers (NBA coach) as his dad. Very good in P/R situations with ball in hand- has ability to split double team and get to basket- has an effective floater and nice change of speed moves. Prolific scorer- can score in multiple ways and has the ability to hit tough shots over defense- very good offensive 1 on 1 player- with an array of finishing moves. Explosive going right. Tremendous ball handler- with a lightning quick crossover dribble. Great form on jump shot- struggled to a degree tonight with his shot- but has a quick release and solid form nonetheless. Confident in his game- wants the ball in his hands- makes highlights on the regular.


Needs to do a better job of making contact with McKie when he is crashing boards. Needs to improve help defense- concerned about man too much. On the several occasions when he plays at the PG spot and brings ball down court, he tries to do to much at times and forces the issue and is TO prone in that regard- still has only one thing in mind when coming off ball screens and that is SHOOT- doesn’t have a PG/pass mentality- not really a bad thing because his role on this Duke team is a scorer- but does cause him to force some shots- still must improve passing ability and vision and not have so much tunnel vision when driving to basket- one stat to back up this statement is the fact that coming into this game he has more TO’s (66) then assist (62). More explosive going right then left- went to the left side corner 90% of time so he could drive middle going right- same thing with P/R plays- the pick is always set when he is on left side of floor- so he can come off pick going to his right- had a really nice right to left crossover move and scored with lay-in, but used his right hand- not going to work as much at next level. When he did go off screen from right side of floor- going left, he wasn’t able to turn the corner as well and got bumped out. Struggles to get around/fight through screens- gets screened way too easy and is too content with switching- this goes with both on ball screens and off ball screens- not as much urgency to get back to man- comes out of stance. A little shaky from FT line- rushes it too much- shooting 65% for year- should be in 70’s.


Leads to team in points per game(15.5), minutes played, and field goals made(149). He leads all ACC Freshman in ppg, mpg, made field goals, and made FT’s. Seventh leading freshman scorer in country. Has been named ACC Rookie of the Week eight times this season- leads the conference. Entering this game averaging 15.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 2.1 apg.

Played more off the ball than PG tonight- when he did bring ball up, Duke always ran him off a pick and put him in P/R situation. Clearly he is more comfortable playing the shooting guard then PG at this point in his career- will be on the short side playing the SG at NBA level- but his scoring, athleticism, and first step will transfer to pro game and its style. His game play in meant for the NBA and he will be an effective scorer at next level. His ability to guard an NBA caliber shooting guard was not seen tonight, as Wake does not have anyone that fits that profile, but he has the IQ, quick hands, and average lateral quickness to stay in front- still vulnerable to post ups by bigger guards and ability to adequately defend taller shooters b/c of size and will still have to improve lateral quickness to stay in front of NBA guards- still somewhat of a tweener being 6’4” playing the 2G- but this would not worry me much if I was an NBA GM. More of a highlight reel- and a little bit more style/flash than substance, but he plays his role well for this Duke team and that is to score. With that said he has a low FG%(44), lots of TO’s, low assists numbers, low FT%, and plays a lot of minutes. He is an explosive scorer though and he is quick and athletic- all traits that will carry him to a good NBA career.

Today we share Austin Rivers’ final mixtape of the year, and it should be mentioned that he was one of the more impressive players at the Jordan Brand Classic. Austin looks close to being an NBA ready guard already, although he’ll get a chance to prove it by playing in the ACC next season.

By Marcus Shockley

The Boost Mobile Elite 24 event is intended to showcase the best 24 high school basketball players in the country who are rising seniors, and it follow what has become the norm for high profile televised All-Star basketball events, there is little defense, little offensive flow and not much point in scouting the game beyond simply seeing a little taste of player’s talent and how they work in an open court running game.

To be honest, very few colleges are able to employ a frenetic open court style, so it limits the scouting even more. Defense is not encountered, so players who look like star slashers are getting way too much freedom.


That being said, here are some thoughts from this year’s Boost Mobile Elite 24 event:

The big news of the day was the college announcement of Kyle Wiltjer, the 6’9″ PF and offensive weapon who committed to Kentucky for the Class of 2011. Wiltjer is a quick, sure handed PF who plays a finesse scoring game and relying on getting off quick hook shots to beat the defense in the post, and he approaches the big forward spot like a shooting guard. Wiltjer is not a power post player but definitely adds offense to a roster.

Austin Rivers (PG, 6’4″, 2011) had an overall solid game, despite being injured after leaping for a high pass. Rivers used his size to grab several rebounds and has a lengthy stride that is deceptively quick, as he uses a crossover at the perimeter to get to the basket repeatedly. Rivers is one of the deadliest slashing guards that has come along in some time. He can hit the outside shot, but his strength is in getting defenders on their heels and hitting a running floater, which is almost impossible to guard.

Quincy Miller (SF/PF, 6’9″, 2011) showed flashes of his game that make him look like a solid pro prospect, showing he is still an outside shooting threat and has quickness with the ball.

Jabari Brown (SG, 6’5″, 2011) continues to be my most underrated player of the 2011 class. While Wiltjer was getting most of the on-air discussion, Brown was putting the ball in the bucket and showing his ability to handle the ball even at 6’5″ and from the off-guard position. The only thing I’ve yet to scout Jabari for is his defense; I’ve read some reports that knock his rebounding, but I’m not sure how seriously I can take a scouting report that considers minimal rebounding from the SG position as an actual factor. Jabari recently eliminated several schools from his list.

Duece Bello (SG/SF, 6’3″, 2011), often linked with Quincy Miller, showed his ability to get up and down the court, slash and dunk in transition. Very explosive player who knows when to push the ball into overdrive and attack the basket.

Myck Kabongo (PG, 6’2″, 2011) was extremely active, getting involved and making a ton of positive plays. Kabongo has verbally committed to Texas. James McAdoo (PF, 6’8″, 2011), a UNC commit, looked like a solid inside forward, with a great high-arc baby hook and jumper. McAdoo looks physically ready for the college game.