The nation’s top 2011 prospect, Austin Rivers, has been quite busy entertaining some of the country’s top collegiate programs. Austin, who is down to Duke, North Carolina and Kansas, has had all three teams on in-home visits recently. Most recently though he entertained the Duke staff where Coach K and Assistant Coach Collins talked to him about why Duke would be a great fit for him. BDN caught up with the top prospect a few minutes after the coaching staff had left. Here’s what he had to say.
BDN: Can you talk about [private] why you chose each of these three schools?
AR: Sure, basically they are all kind of related in a similar way, that’s why they are the three schools that I like. They all like to play fast paced and get up and down the court. I just feel like each school can put me in a position where I can succeed, not only with winning but getting better and getting me to the next level.
BDN: Is the recruiting process something you’ve enjoyed?
AR: It’s definitely something I enjoy; I get to learn a lot. People who say it weighs down on them you know it’s crazy, at the end of the day you have greatness in front of you. Being with Bill Self, Roy Williams and Coach K (as he laughs), you know those aren’t bad people to have in your home to talk about basketball. They know a lot more about it than me they’ve been through it already. Just being able to go through this process has been great.
BDN: Absolutely. Can you talk about your UNC visit and how that went?
AR: The UNC visit went great, they came down and just talked about their school and what they’re doing now and what they could see me doing there. They talked about their school and how I could affect them by playing there.
BDN: How about the Kansas visit?
AR: That went great as well, absolutely. All of the visits have went well, all real classy people that know the game better than me.
BDN: What did the schools talk about?
AR: Basically all three talked about what they could do for me and how I could fit in with them. They all have their own opinion on how they see me fitting in with them.
BDN: What do you like about the coaches?
AR: I love Coach K’s passion for the game. You can really just tell he loves it and Duke basketball is just something that is their life. You can just tell how much passion he has and how much he loves his players, and how much he believes in them. That was something I really loved about tonight. You could just see how basketball is his way of life and really just coaching period. He just enjoys it so much. I love the way Coach Self just comes at you, he’s a real dude, he doesn’t sugarcoat anything and he’s there to get you better. He won’t hide anything from you; he’s a guy that can make you a better player. Roy Williams just really a nice guy that knows the game and someone that will get on you as well. He and Bill Self are real similar.
BDN: So you have three official visits coming up, is that correct? And is there anything specific you’re looking to see on the visits?
AR: Yes that’s correct. No, not really anything specific. I’m just going to go and see what a normal day would be like as a student athlete there, to see what the campus is like and see the guys a little bit more. After that I’ll take a couple of weeks to myself and I’ll decide.
BDN: Did the Duke staff talk specifics about how they’d try and use you?
AR: They said that every player kind of has their own thing. You know, they said they have their role players and then they have their players. They see me as a player, somebody that they can see leading their team. They’ve had players like that before like Jason Williams, Grant Hill and now Kyrie Irving. They have guys who they trust and who can lead their team to a good place. That’s what they talked to me about tonight. It really makes me happy to see they have confidence in me and I know I can deliver.
BDN: Do you still plan on making a decision before your season starts?
AR: Yes that’s what I hope to do, there are no guarantees though. I would kind of like to see the games played this year first, and that’s not going to have any effect on my decision, I just would like to see the colleges play a little bit, that’s the only thing that might change it. But I really do hope to get it done before the season.
BDN: Were you rocking any Duke gear tonight?
AR: (laughs) Na I wasn’t rocking any Duke gear. I was just rocking some Under Armour and regular clothes.
BDN: I saw you were hyping up your moms cooking earlier today. What’d you guys have for dinner?
AR: (laughs) She made fried chicken, of course. She made some ribs, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, beans and bacon and chocolate frosted brownies. We had a southern cooked meal like usual. She knows how to cook and especially for those guys coming down, she did her thing.
BDN: Appreciate your time, Austin. Good luck moving forward.
AR: Thank you man, thank you. Have a good one.
We'll have a follow up interview concentrating on visit details and such, so stay tuned. Discuss the lates on the BDN Premium Message Board[/private]