Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No. 1 hoops prep in Class of 2011 will visit KU


Austin Rivers, the No. 1-rated high school basketball player in the Class of 2011, has set a date for an official recruiting visit to Kansas University.

Rivers, a 6-toot-3, 175-pound senior shooting guard from Winter Park (Fla.) High, will visit KU on Oct. 22-23. The son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers will visit North Carolina (Oct. 1-2) and Duke (Oct. 15-16) with plans to sign with one of those three finalists in April.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski traveled to Florida for an in-home visit Tuesday. KU coach Bill Self and UNC’s Roy Williams visited last week.

Duke has been the leader for Rivers since his decommitting from Florida last April. He had committed to the Gators following his freshman year of high school.

“Yes, the other schools are playing catch up to Duke,” Rivers told “I’ve been able to get on campus three times, so they do have a head start. I haven’t even been to the other schools. But at the end of the day, one visit might change things.”

Rivers caused a stir this summer by wearing Duke gear after helping USA Basketball to an Under 18 championship in San Antonio.

Of his decision, he said in a diary in Slam Magazine ... “I want to hold off and watch Irving (Kyrie, Duke freshman) play next year a little before I decide. I want to see other players develop, too. Not just at Duke. You’ve got North Carolina. I want to see if Harrison Barnes stays, too.

“There’s a lot I want to take a look at with this decision. Obviously, that means I won’t be deciding in (fall) like I said before. Sorry about that, guys. I just want to make this the best decision for me and having gone through this once already I have to KNOW it’s the right thing for me.”

Recruiting: KU assistant coach Joe Dooley traveled to Brewster Academy on Tuesday to check on Naadir Tharpe, a 6-0 senior point guard who is ranked No. 91 nationally by Rivals. Tharpe is considering Minnesota, Marquette, Indiana, Iowa State, St. John’s, UCLA and many others. ... Rivals says KU may look into pursuing Quinn Cook, 6-1 point guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., who is originally from Washington, D.C. Cook is ranked 28th nationally.


duanep5ku 10 years, 2 months ago

Hi, I mean no disrespect to Naadir Tharpe but a 91 ranking, I guess that would be the result of losing out on Joshia Turner. I do not see Austin Rivers coming to Kansas but who knows this kid seems like he likes to surprise people and may do the opposite as to what everyone is saying, So who knows what he will do. So Austin if you want to shock the fan bases do not go to Duke but good luck

Nutflush21 10 years, 2 months ago

Not everyone we sign should be a top 50 recruit. Maybe Tharpe would be great off the bench or maybe the staff sees him as someone with a lot of room to improve and could start further down the road.

I also don't see Rivers coming to KU either but it's great we can get the kid on campus. Anytime we can get a campus visit then we have a fighting chance.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Lon Kruger once said that, after the top 3 or 4 guys at each position, there really isn't much difference between number 50 on the recruiting lists and number 150. If you don't believe this, just ask Bradley, Bucknell or Northern Iowa.

After the first few studs at each slot, it's really about finding guys who fit a system, who have a lot of upside or who will outwork the competition. Those kinds of guys are not as easy to identify as the all-world recruits.

John Randall 10 years, 2 months ago

You don't suppose that's why the Wildcats have moved up in the standings every year, do you?

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Great insight. Thanks for sharing it.

Sam Constance 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm pretty sure there were plenty of contributors on that 2008 team that weren't "top 50" talent.

Kaun and Jackson come to mind right off the bat.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

Kaun and Jackson were basically Top 50 talent. Kaun was rivals #34 prospect in the 2004 class while Jackson was the #54 ranked prospect.

Sam Constance 10 years, 2 months ago


Neither were ranked when I looked at their recruiting profile on

Oh well.

Robert Brock 10 years, 2 months ago

KU's recruiting attention seems to be aimed at the Class of 2012. That class has a lot of talent, including bigs. Looks like, for 2011, the Hawks may get McLemore and a guard and pocket the rest in anticipation of landing a large, talented group from 2012.

Andy Hess 10 years, 2 months ago

Josh Selby is like Quinn Cook's big brother. Cook is also friends with T-Rob. We stand a solid chance with him I believe.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

By the way, LeBryan Nash, Self, and Manning all met yesterday as well for an in-home visit. Apparently it went really well, according to Nash's AAU coach.

“It went really well,” Johnson said about the in-home visit. “Kansas looked pretty good today. They talked about some things that no other coaches have talked about. It was different,” said Johnson. “I think he liked it,” he added.

Ironically, Nash will also not be visiting Zona this upcoming weekend. The whole article is on The Shiver.

Paul Brozik 10 years, 2 months ago

Just read he cancelled his trip to Zona...hmmmm.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 2 months ago

backward.... uofa cancelled him. they ran out of schollies.

Andy Hess 10 years, 2 months ago

they were out of "schollies" before Josiah Turner committed. in fact, they were one over the limit before he committed. that excuse is a smokescreen.

Robin Smith 10 years, 2 months ago

thx for the info kushaw, you're holding it down

jacqueshock 10 years, 2 months ago

I'd be very surprised if Rivers chooses KU. He gave his oral commitment to Florida as a sophomore, but he wants to play in a basketball hot bed. I didn't see Kansas on his list until the last couple months and Duke has been on him hard for the past year. If he goes to KU, then Self is the friggin' man.

KU_FanSince75 10 years, 2 months ago

Competing against Roy & Mike for a recruit---that's awesome! Come on Coach Self---bring 'em to Kansas!

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 2 months ago

i for some reason have the beach boys song playing in my head now..."wouldn't it be nice"...

phi4life940 10 years, 2 months ago

I just want LeBryan because his name resembles LeBron. Maybe he'll help us to LeBig Game. Haha

gchawk 10 years, 2 months ago

That's the only reason I don't want him.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 2 months ago

At least Rivers has enough interest to visit. Self and company will have to pull out all of the stops because between Duke's national title, and Coach K's visibility with USA basketball lately, Duke is getting back to that 90s era of recruiting and landing the elite prospects again. That said, Kansas basketball is the model of consistency and I would think the prospect of raising his overall game in Self's system would be attractive to a kid that wants to play for over a decade in the league.

I also think that when/if Selby gets cleared and some of these undecided kids see what he does, KU's exposure will sky rocket. We kind of forget that these highschool kids are sort of fans of NCAA basketball too and following other great players at a university seems to be a trend lately.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

This is my take on A. Rivers. A. Rivers is pretty much a can't miss recruit that is in the same category as a John Wall, Derek Rose, and Kevin Durant. A. Rivers can pretty much do what he wants on the court either hitting "J's" over his defender or simply just using his quickness to get to the rack.

A. Rivers could go to any school, do his thing, and still be a lottery pick the following year. However, the question is whether or not he's going to get better? Can he run a team not only at the college level, but at the NBA level solely based on his size? He is known as SG, but based on his size he will have to transition into a PG at the next level?

I just learned yesterday that Doc Rivers, Self, and Manning all know each other so you would have to think that the elder Rivers would respect Self's NBA style offense as well as his defensive philosophies. I mean, Doc is known as a defensive specialist in the NBA so I would think that would give KU at least an edge over UNC.

There isn't much the younger Rivers needs to work on, but Doc knows his son, in order to get to the next level, will have to polish and fine tune his defensive thinking as well as understanding the true components of a pick and roll type of system. Nobody understands that more than Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce. Hopefully, the younger Rivers can come to grips with those facts and choose Self and KU.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

No offense, kushaw but do you think an NBA style offense is a good thing?

Two players set up on one side of the court and pick and roll while the other three play cards on the opposite side of the court!

Now I do agree witjh you on NBA player who can play shut down defense is as rare as leftovers at the Mangino house.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

Oakville: Sorry for the delayed response as I was running errands. You bring up a great point. First, I only enjoy the NBA once the playoffs come around because "The Professionals" finally come out of their cocoon and play some basketball. Second, I think the defensive 3 second rule is the dumbest rule in sports, which allows for all the one on one isolation which drives me absolutely crazy. Third, College, International, and Olympic basketball is the true manner in which I believe the game should be played and I wholeheartedly believe that's the way Dr. Naismith intended it to be played.

With all that said, there is nothing wrong with running components of an NBA style offense, which is exactly what Bill Self runs. He runs the pick and roll about the best of anybody in the college game and when you take those components from the college game and take it to the NBA, that can only be beneficial as a player. In some regards, even though the NBA is more spread out because of the 3 pt line, Kansas does run a pick and roll with 2 on one side and 3 on the other side of the lane. Even though it's more congested (Closer 3 pt line and no defensive 3 seconds) it's still the same idea.

College, International, and Olympic basketball will never be consistent with the NBA simply because of not only the dumbest rule in sports, but probably the most impacting rule in sports when you truly disect how that rule changes the overall team game of basketball.

Honestly, I would hate college ball if they decided to adopt that rule, however, the hi-low and pick and roll offense that Self runs helps players develop and get prepared for the league. I'm assuming you probably dislike the NBA as well or at least components of the NBA, but right now elite prospects only have their eye on the most talented and gifted league in the world.

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

We've got the Truth too! I hope Pierce can influence him much like Jordan influenced Barnes to NC.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago


  1. Independent of playing at KU (or not), is Selby projected in the Wall, Rose, Durant category?

  2. If I'm Doc Rivers, do I want my son tying his star to Coach Consonants, who is near the end of his career, or Bill Self, who is just hitting the fat part of his, who appears to be a pretty decent fellow, and who likely will coach in the NBA one day? Or do I want my son to get the sexiest education he can get at a hoops school playing for a jerk? This will be a tough call for Father Rivers. There are valid reasons for choosing either school. My guess is Father Rivers opts for KU, because Father Rivers understands the money flows from the NBA and not from a degree from Duke. But his son is apt to be swayed by Duke's ring and underestimate what a jerk Coach Consonants truly is. This will be a good father-son drama. I suspect the son will choose Duke, but the disgraceful display of cheap-shotting, thug ball put on by Duke last season, especially in the tourney has got to stick deep, deep, deep in Doc Rivers craw. Rivers played tough, and he coaches tough. He's a Marquette guy. Maquire, Raymonds, Majerus--tough, tough, tough. Intimidation? Yes. Muscle? Yes. But never cheap shotters. Never, never, never cheap shotters.

Doc has to ask himself? Does he want his kid to play for a cheap-shotter who will sell out everything he believes in to win a ring, or for a coach who tells his players, when down a bunch with a short time to go in a national championship game: "You gotta believe"?

Which lesson do you want your kid to learn and live by for the rest of his life?

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate: I knew when I said the above statement that somebody would try to put Selby into that category. I think Selby has all the talent in the world to be in that category. The sky is the limit for Selby. If I had to choose between Rivers and Selby I would take both. LOL!

IMO, and I said this about a month when it looked like KU had zero chance of landing Rivers, I think Rivers is the most polished all around player/recruit of the last 5 years. Rivers can stroke the "J" off a pick or take somebody off the dribble and pull up from any distance, Rivers has probably the quickest first step anybody has seen in a long long time, Rivers basketball IQ is off the charts, and finally Rivers can finish at the rim when taking it to the rack.

Selby, IMO, has all those intangibles and is more athletic and explosive than Rivers. Selby has just a more "Raw" all around game than Rivers. Nothing wrong with that and let's remember that we are comparing #1 recruit vs #1 recruit in their respective classes. Both players are going to be lottery picks without question, but I think Rivers game will translate to the NBA game a little quicker and a little faster than Selby's.

For the record, I think Rivers all around game is more polished that Wall's, but it will be interesting to see over the next 3 years how Wall, Selby, and Rivers translate to the NBA game. In the end, because KU has Selby, I wouldn't trade him for anybody. I also think Selby knows he has components of his game he needs to work on and I think Bill Self is the perfect coach for him to polish his skills so he can be in that category with Durant, Rose, and Wall.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

I was being glue. You impacted. Getting better. :-)

RockChalkGuy 10 years, 2 months ago

Speaking of Paul Pierce, he needs to step and work the inside edge on Rivers.

truefan 10 years, 2 months ago

He has been, that's why Rivers gave us a look. He wasn't even considering KU until Pierce told him to at least give KU a chance.

Chris Nieto 10 years, 2 months ago

Actually, A. Rivers had KU on his first list of his schools before he committed to Florida a couple years ago.

gthejayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

I would think that Pierce has already done that. The reason I think this is because of what Self said at a Luncheon I attended last fall. Self commented on how of all the former KU players in The League, Pierce has shown the most interest in wanting to help KU in anyway possible. Hopefully A. Rivers will be the fruit of that labor!!!!

gchawk 10 years, 2 months ago

No doubt this young man would be a great asset, for one year. Hard to form solid team cohesiveness with a bunch of "one-and-donners", (is that a word?). My money is on Duke getting him, but I've been wrong before!

Paul Brozik 10 years, 2 months ago

It sounds to me that the recruiting has little to do with Rivers decision at this point. He is just waiting to make sure Irving is a OAD. KUs best chance to get Rivers is if Irving and Barnes don't go to the NBA and Selby does. That seems like a stretch. Rivers won't declare anywhere until after the NBA draft deadline and I can't really blame him.

AverageCitizen 10 years, 2 months ago

How do you know he wants to see if Irving and Barnes are gone? Perhaps he wants to play with them? Or, perhaps he want to see who is on the team and if he might get plenty of playing times.

Paul Brozik 10 years, 2 months ago

"I want to see if Harrison Barnes stays, too."

Thats how I know he wants to see if they are gone.

Maybe he want to play with them but I would bet his decision will be about playing time.

Ken Tschetter 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm just glad Kentucky isn't a finalist for Rivers. That at least tells me he's an intelligent kid with a moral compass that steered him away from slimy coach Calamari.

Jason Roberts 10 years, 2 months ago

Either that or his father told him, "No way, son".

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

The importance of having a #1 recruit visit your school:

1] He may actually decide to go there.

2] Name recognition. Austin Rivers is visiting Duke, the defending National Champion but also, North Carolina, who didn't even make the NCAA's and Kansas who lost in the second round., etc. pick up on this kind of exposure.

3] Other recruits see a #1 at Kansas and another #1 considering Kansas. This can't be anything but good PR.

4] Coach Seff and his staff remain a nationally recognized high profile staff Maybe no #1's but maybe 2's and 3's and top 10's and 20's reconsider.

5] It gives confidence to the exisitng roster that, hey, these guys are pretty good and they want to play with us.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 2 months ago

Losing Josiah Turner is a HUGE loss. It was pretty much a given everybody thought KU was in the lead for him. HUGE loss.

Hence, the reason they are going after Cook and Tharpe.

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 2 months ago

there's other fish in the sea. we need to land a whale though soon...we tend to land guys after the earl signing period. would be nice to get one big fish early, and have others follow him to KU.

KUbsee69 10 years, 2 months ago

Slightly off subject, but does anyone know if Selby can participate in the Late Night activites without being cleared to play? Can he practice with the team prior to being cleared to play?

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

I would think so because they are not even preseason games. I don't think the NCAA will get too freaked if he did.

BTW- WTH !! The NCAA playing games or what? Clear him already!!!!

SoCalAlum 10 years, 2 months ago

For those of you who in the past wondered out loud about what can happen if you run out of scholarships (other than running off half of the team, UK did when Coach Cal started there), here's an update from zagsblog:

truthfan 10 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone know if we a recruiting Willie Cauley havent heard anything about on he is the 12th ranked center for 2012

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Arizona Fans Are Visiting"

~Lots of cryptic allusions to saguaro cacti.

~Aridzonans keeps saying incredulously: "You mean the Kansas River really runs year round?"

~When asked how hot it gets in Tucson, they respond with: "Yeah, but its a dry hell."

~Lots of offers to swap old Lute Olson helmet wigs for Jayhawk T-shirts.

~Lots of offers to swap old "I Heart Kevin O'Neill" bumper stickers for jpegs of KU cheerleaders.

~TMI confessions about intimacy with gila monsters.

~Lots of posts betraying sustained exposure to drug wars in the Sonoran Desert recently labeled APTSD aka Arizona Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

~References to something called the Flourescent Wildcat Cult, a group of UA drop outs that has left Tucson for Phoenix, moved into the Superstition Mountains in search of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, and chant nightly under the influence of peyote about magical expectations of UA returning to excellence in hoops.

~Incessant, and accurate, claims that the strippers at Tucson's Blue Note were (are?) better looking than those at The Bird.

~Constant, begrudging admissions that UA students require 640 gallons/student/year of Eucerin Intensive Skin Care Lotion to survive the desert climate without dying of acute skin cracking.

~Posts manifesting misplaced pride in Tucson having the only chapter of Adult Children of Chimichanga Addicts.

~Recurring polymorphous perverse requests to be mistreated by KU board rats the same way they abuse Wildcats from KSU.

(Note: This is all false. This is all fiction. And there is no malice in this palace with the chalice with the KU brew that is true.)

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 2 months ago

here's why we are considering maybe ensure we get his buddy. worked with the Henry bros. Just sayin'...(from Zagsblog which is the best free site for recruiting news period).

Mikael Hopkins, the No. 12 power forward in the Class of 2011 out of DeMatha (Md.), will visit Ohio State this coming weekend when the Buckeyes host Miami in football and will also visit Kansas Sept. 24.

“He is at Ohio State this weekend on an official,” Team Takeover coach Keith Stevens said Tuesday by phone.

Stevens politely declined to say what other officials Hopkins would take.

“We kind of know where he’s gonna go,” he said. “He hasn’t told everybody. He’s going to Kansas on Sept. 24. The rest is up in the air.”

Stevens did say the 6-foot-8, 210-pound Hopkins has a number of in-home visits scheduled with Georgetown, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Miami, Maryland, N.C. State, Kansas and Texas. Rutgers is no longer in the mix.

Stevens expects Hopkins to decide in the early signing period.

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 2 months ago

and young rivers...we'd love to have you. go to grad school at duke after you retire from the nba. sound like a good deal? great, glad we are on the same page.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

For those that are interested, here is the diary of Austin Rivers about his 3 in home visits with UNC, KU, and Duke. KU is unfortunately, going to have a lot of making up to do. From this journal entry, I just don't see it happening. It's a great read.

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