NBA Draft 2012: What Kind of Pro Will Austin Rivers Make?
Austin Rivers is a big name in college basketball that has been in the NBA draft conversation ever since joining the Duke Blue Devils this season.
Many people expected Rivers to go pro once the season was over—those people were right.
Now that Rivers has announced that he will enter the NBA draft, there will be a lot of eyes on him.
How high will Rivers go in the draft is one thing, but an even better question is what kind of pro will Rivers make?
Read on to find out.
Score First, Pass Second
If you have watched Rivers at all this season, you would know that he loves to score, possibly even more than he likes to pass, and his numbers would indicate this very strongly.
Rivers averaged an impressive 15.4 points per game. Considering that he was the field general on many possessions, his 2.1 assists per game is rather low.
It's not that Rivers can't pass the ball, he just chooses not to. This will most likely be the case in the NBA as well.
Austin Rivers made the shot of his life when he hit a buzzer-beater three over North Carolina's Tyler Zeller earlier in the year.
Although this shot had a lot of meaning to it, Rivers made shots like that the entire season.
Once he is only focusing on basketball, you would imagine that Rivers' 36.5 percent from behind the arc would only improve. Keep in mind that his field goal percentage was 43 percent this year, which is pretty impressive, considering that Rivers took many deep twos.
Leader by Example
If an NBA team wants a Tim Tebow-type of leadership out of Austin Rivers, that is not what they are going to get.
Rivers was, of course, a freshman this year and he definitely acted like one. At times, he was very selfish with the ball, which led to bad shot selections. Rivers also pouts when calls don't go his way, and he was sometimes nonexistent on the defensive side of the ball.
With that said, Rivers is tremendous on the offensive side of the ball. His shooting ability is out of this world, and he has great ball-handling skills, when he isn't trying to over dribble to find his shot.
So, players around Rivers will be much better because of how good he is on the court. You can bet when Rivers hits three or more three-pointers in a row, his team will rally around him.
Vocal leader not so much, but a leader by example, most definitely.
Overall, Austin Rivers is a tremendous basketball player. There is no arguing that.
Rivers is at the perfect height, 6'4'', to play at either guard position. He certainly has the ball-handling ability to be a point guard at the next level, but he is going to have to learn how to not be so selfish with the ball.
When Rivers wants to be, he is a great passer, but we all know that he loves to shoot the ball, even when someone is wide-open.
Rivers could use some more bulk, which would go a long ways with his driving ability. Towards the end of the season, Rivers was capable of driving to the hoop and having a highlight reel type of finish.
If Rivers wants to be all he can be, then he will improve on defense. He is great on keeping his man in front of him, but that is when he is not being lazy.
No matter what, Rivers is one of the best shooters coming out of the draft, and he is an amazing scorer. However, there are always things that people can improve on and Rivers could certainly use some improvement on his attitude, selfishness and defense.
All in all, Rivers should make a pretty darn good NBA player.
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