It was just the other day when WRAL ran Austin Rivers comment about not disliking UNC and that he almost picked them during a lengthy interview. Little did he know they ran that statement alone. The media will set you up around here and a lesson was in store.
When introduced tonight he was met with a strong chorus of boo's from the UNC and Kentucky fans that filled the stands for the Jordan-Brand All Star game. It won't take long for young Austin to realize that UNC fans have a serious hate problem when it comes to Duke. When he sees those F-Duke shirts, gets heckled from drive by fans, my bet is he will not be so comment friendly towards a rival and he'
The bottom line is that Austin Rivers is still learning his way around in North Carolina and he will be on campus soon enough prepping for the Blue Devils trip to China where they hope to grow the incoming freshman class. Rivers started the night off with a bang, but then went cold and was often overlooked by his teammates.
That is not unusual in an All Star setting of course and he did end the game with 16 points, playing more minutes than anyone on the East squad which clipped the West by a 113-109 score. Rivers also found his teammates where his 4 assists were a team high and he pulled down six rebounds.
After the game, Rivers said he had a target on his back and you'll learn more with the coming video. Rivers will return home, rest up, eat some of Mom's home cooking and take in some Celtics games where his Dad, Glenn "Doc" Rivers is in charge. The budding star said that he'd be talking to the coaching staff as well.
The game also featured Michael Gbinije, who is 6-6, not 6-8 as some have reported of late. Like Rivers, BDN has avideo interview coming with him as well, so stay tuned. Gbinije does a lot of stuff off ball and All Star games really do not fit his game. He ended the game with 10 points, but missed a few put backs and took a couple of hard foul no calls.
Gbinije will be on the Duke campus in June and spoke with the staff just before he went to the Jordan-Brand Classic and is looking forward to feedback. He told BDN his goal was to get stronger over the summer and that was the coaches wishes as well.
In the North Carolina Regional All Star contest which proceeded the game, Marshall Plumlee got 15 minutes of play, scoring 4 points to go with 3 boards. As is customary, the guards took all the shots and he got garbage or nothing taking just 3 shots. Like Gbinije, his game is not as suited for the wide open madness.
Quinn Cook did not in the game but he is the fourth player int he incoming class with a possibility of a fifth soon. I did sit with Steve Smith, his Oak Hill coach and he had some nice things to say about the point guard. Stay tuned for more information on that and some behind the scenes happenings for BDN Premium members. So bookmark Blue Devil Nation for our hands on, in person coverage of all things Duke. Until then, check out these post game clips, where Rivers checks out his many fans and Gbinije is gett