NCAA Basketball Tournament - Lehigh v Duke

Austin Rivers to declare for the NBA Draft (Updated)

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Austin Rivers intends to enter his name in the NBA Draft, per a report, although Duke announced today that nothing is yet official and his decision will come next week.

If Rivers does end up leaving school, it should come as no surprise. The 6’3″ freshman, who averaged 15.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.1 apg, is projected as a first round pick — Draft Express currently lists him 17th, although there are many that expect him to jump into the lottery — and has always seemed to carry himself like a one-and-doner. You can also be assured that Rivers got the best advice on where his standing is as a prospect; his father is Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Boston Celtics.

Rivers came a long way during the season. Early on, he struggled trying to blend into a team setting. It was always the Austin Rivers show when he was playing at the high school level, so learning to deal with having teammates that wanted touches as well was a difficult thing for him to grasp. To his credit, his decision making and shot selection did get better throughout the season.

The question that NBA GM’s have is what position Rivers will play. He’s not a point guard, but there are legitimate concerns that he doesn’t have the size or the raw athleticism to play the two in the league.

There are also rumors going around that Mason Plumlee will be entering the draft as well, although nothing is official yet.

Duke’s season ended last week when the No. 2 seed Blue Devils lost to No. 15 Lehigh in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State