Commentary

Austin Rivers to Duke

Originally Published: March 1, 2010
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I remember some people questioning Mike Krzyzewski's ability to recruit for the future because of his time commitment with USA Basketball. Yes my friends, coaching the American team at events like the World Championship in Turkey was time consuming.

Now look at the recruiting class he has coming in. Think about the big news when Coach K landed Austin Rivers, one of the premier recruits in America. That is the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, and both were thrilled by the decision.

There is no doubt that Coach K's leadership at Duke stands out. Just look at four national championships and the type of human beings that have played for him and later graduated.

I firmly believe that coaching USA Basketball is a positive in regard to his recruiting for Duke. Those who feel it is a negative should understand the visibility and exposure of leading the creme de la creme, guys like Kevin Durant at the World Championships, and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant at the last Olympics, is a major plus.

Now the Dukies have landed another big time star in Mr. Rivers. Think about the perimeter play of the Blue Devils in the future. Kyrie Irving will be one of the premier diaper dandies this season. Seth Curry, the All-Marco Polo who sat out last season after transferring from Liberty, has the potential to be very special. Then add Rivers to the mix in 2011 and Coach K has to be smiling. Opponents on Tobacco Road are not as happy.

I have seen Austin Rivers play, and he can do it all. This is a terrific addition for the future of Duke basketball. He also stems rom a quality family.

Mike Krzyzewski deserves a salute for getting in another big-time performer.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.