Austin Rivers Diary: Eliminating Florida
Words. Austin Rivers
Winter Park (Fla.) senior guard Austin Rivers is the best player in the country. After de-committing from Florida in April, Rivers allowed Duke, North Carolina and Kansas to give chase, making his one of the most captivating recruiting stories in the country.
The younger son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Austin has agreed to give HSH exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts in a regular diary. In this entry he talks about a major development:
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What’s up world! It’s been a while, but I’ve been busy with all of these coaches coming in for in-home visits. It wasn’t tiring at all talking to the coaches. I loved it. I mean, at the end of the day I’ve got three of the greatest coaches in the game coming to my house and having dinner with me! They’re just talking to me about how much they want me to come and play for them and that’s definitely cool.
The tiring part is when I had to do all of the interviews. I know that comes with the territory, but I’m just glad I can relax. I’m chillin’ now.
First, UNC came in. I met Coach (Roy) Williams at the front door. I think he came in some sort of nice Cadillac car. The meeting was really cool! We fed them ribs and fried chicken, potatoes, green beans and lemon cake. My mom can REALLY cook! Hmm … I’m trying to think of who ate the most … To be honest, they all ate their plate. I think they liked it because they ate everything. Coach Williams really laid out where he saw me fitting into his system and they did their presentation. I got to see DVDs and they said that they could see me coming in and running the show. Obviously, I’m gonna have to work for it, but they said that I’m a player that can come in and make a big impact right away. I liked it. Coach Williams is a really cool guy. When they left they just said that they’d see me in a few weeks on my visit and that was it.
Kansas came next. This was my first time meeting Coach (Danny) Manning and Coach (Bill) Self.
We switched it up for dinner. My mom made lasagna. That’s my favorite and everybody really liked it. Their presentation was similar to UNC’s. Honestly, it was really chill and relaxed. We talked about the NBA and the lockout and who is the best player they’ve ever seen and all of that stuff. Then at the end of the conversation, Coach Self talked about how he saw me fitting into his system. It was similar to UNC. He said that he sees me as an immediate impact player. It was a really good visit! I really enjoyed getting a chance to meet them.
With both UNC and Kansas it was a little different than Duke because I’m getting to know those schools. I already know Duke really well. I really enjoyed forming a relationship with Coach Williams and Coach Self.
When Duke came, it was kinda like old friends coming to the house. Duke had a driver outside. I think they were in a Lincoln. It was Coach K and Coach (Chris) Collins. We served them the same kind of food that we served UNC. It was sooo good we had it again! They loved it! And Coach K had like seven glasses of lemonade, so that was pretty funny. Then Coach K and Coach Collins laid out their vision for me. They didn’t compare me to any former players, but they did talk about the freedom that Jay Williams had when he was there. They felt like I was the kind of player that could have that type of freedom in their system. They said they trusted me to play off of my instincts. I really liked that!
You know what was cool: All of the coaches that came in were sporting championship rings. Coach K even had his USA ring on and that was real nice! Those national title rings were REALLY nice, though. They were beautiful. I’ve gotta get one!
I ended up texting my boy Kyrie Irving (Duke), but we didn’t even talk about the visit. We were talking about Mike Posner. Kyrie’s my boy, so we talk all the time. I also talk to players from UNC. Like I know P.J. Hairston, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock, and I know Harrison Barnes a little too. I don’t have anyone at Kansas that I really talk to like that.
Now the next step is the visits. I’m really looking for the same thing at every school. I just want to see how they roll! I want to see what it’s like to go there when school is in session. I want a glimpse of the life.
Like I said, I’m still building a relationship with UNC and Kansas so that will all be new, but I think even at Duke it will be kind of new. I’ve only been there when the students weren’t there and now I’m coming for “Countdown to Craziness” and I KNOW that’s gonna be just crazy with them coming off the title and everything. So they’re all gonna be the same and I’m really looking forward to it! I’m definitely gonna take all three visits for sure.
The other thing I wanted to mention was that, obviously, I recently dropped Florida off of my list. That was hard to do. I have so much respect for Coach (Billy) Donovan and that whole staff. They were the first school that I fell in love with, and the only school that I committed to. I just felt like it wasn’t right for me, but they have a great program over there. And a lot of players will succeed there. I just felt like for my career it was best that I go elsewhere.
Well, that’s all for now everybody. Check back, though, because I’m gonna do a diary after each of my official visits! I appreciate you guys reading. Until next time!