Fans of Duke Basketball got a treat if they tuned into ESPNU Monday night to see an AAU exhibition featuring future Blue Devil Michael Gbinije and prospective Dukie Austin Rivers.
Any Duke fan who was lucky enough to watch didn't see an overly explosive effort from either player but there was certainly enough skill on display to get a feel for what both players bring to the table.
Gbinjie's Team Takeover out of Washington, D.C. took control early playing a patient and opportunistic brand of basketball to take a double digit lead over River's Each 1 Teach 1 team out of Florida.
It was the E1T1 team though that had the last laugh as Rivers led his team from behind for the second time in the day as his team had earlier beaten the Georgia Blazers on their way to the finals of the Super Showcase championship.
Rivers appeared a bit fatigued but that didn't stop him from shooting and moving extensively without the basketball. Traits that certainly appeal to Duke fans who are use to great scoring guards who can do just that.
He has an uncanny ability to get his own shots and shows a good bit of toughness for a guy who physically still has a little ways to go.
Rivers showed a nice stroke despite not shooting all that well. All in all he certainly appears worth all the hype.
Duke fans should also be pleased with the play of Gbinije. While he didn't do anything fancy, his style of play should mesh well with Mike Krzyzewski's brand of basketball.
Gbinije showed an opportunistic scoring ability, athleticism, and good court vision, making several nice passes and drawing defenders to set up teammates.
While Rivers certainly is numero uno on Duke's target list for 2011, Gbinije didn't do anything to make Duke fans feel less pleased with what the wing forward will bring to the Blue Devils when he arrives in Durham next year.
The two teams dueled in front of a whose who of college coaches and top assistants. Duke assistant coaches Chris Collins and Nate James were both in attendance to support Gbinije, but no doubt to continue the courtship of Rivers.
While no decision is expected from Rivers, although he had flirted with a decision by early fall, Duke fans and coaches have reason to still be enamored with the prospect of him wearing a Blue Devil uniform.
Monday's performance in not one but two come from behind efforts is just the kind of thing that makes Duke fans heart swoon.
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