Austin Rivers decommits, opens up recruitment

By Adam Silverstein
April 8, 2010

In a decision that has seemingly been coming for quite some time, five-star 2011 guard recruit Austin Rivers (Winter Park, FL) has officially decommitted from the Florida Gators and decided to open up his recruitment.

“I have reopened my recruitment as of last night,” Rivers told [paid subscription required]. “I have decommitted to Florida at this time. I still really like them, but I needed to go ahead and reopen things right now. Right now I’m looking at three schools: Duke, Florida and North Carolina. I may open it up a little more later on, but right now it’s just going to be those three programs. I have a long history with both Duke and Florida. North Carolina is trying to recruit me as well. So, we’ll see what happens.”

There should be no question that the Duke Blue Devils’ recent success in winning the 2010 NCAA Championship made some impact on Rivers’ decision. Nevertheless, he claims his affection for Florida is unwavering.

“It’s only right to look at other schools just to compare,” Rivers told the Orlando Sentinel. “I still love Florida the same. Coach Donovan, he respects it. I still have the same relationship. They didn’t do anything.”

“When people hear the word de-commitment, they think I’m not going there anymore, but Florida’s still a very possible option for me. This process will help me see where I’m at with Florida.”

OGGOA will continue to stay on top of Rivers’ recruitment as more information is made available and he nears a final decision.

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  1. Malikg says:

    In the “No, it doesn’t really hurt (sniffle)” department, the Gators have gone from possibly getting Brandon Knight this year AND Austin Rivers the year after that to possibly (perhaps likely) not getting either of them.

    Florida can still reach high national levels of winning without either of them, but it stings to have back-to-back top 5/top 10 players from the state of Florida and maybe not bag either of them.

    Back in 1994, then-Florida coach Lon Kruger lost out on the race for Vince Carter, the top player in Florida and a top talent nationally, despite having recruited him since he was in middle school AND having gone to a Final Four.

    Now, after 2 titles, things have changed under coach Billy Donovan. But, some things remain the same.

    Reality check…

  2. Mitch says:

    When we can’t keep the best in Florida at UF that is not a positive no matter how you spin it. We are attractive to some top recruits across the USA but not to many top players in Florida. Why is that? I still lament the recruiting blunders after the back to back that have really degraded the program. While we are not Duke, UNC or UK, we really had a chance to be a top 10-15 power year in and year out if not for those blunders. Never know ith recruiting, but he chances we get either Knight or Rivers is a hair above 0%. We are what we are, another program just struggling to be competitive. UF was counting on this program brining in some revenue by raising booster fees and inflating ticket prices. You would think that will be revised at this rate.

  3. Alex says:

    I think we all knew this was going to happen. IMO he announced too early. Duke is the top-dog right now.

  4. Florida Gators 2006, 2007 National Championship Teams:
    Brewer – Tennessee
    Noah – New York
    Horford – Puerto Rico
    Humphrey – Tennessee
    Green – Florida
    Richard – Florida
    Moss (06) – Texas

    Best Gators basketball players aside from above:
    David Lee – Missouri
    Mike Miller – South Dakota
    Jason Williams – West Virginia
    Matt Bonner – New Hampshire
    Anthony Roberson – Michigan

  5. Joe says:

    Calm down my fellow alums, the ship is not sinking. Florida BB is not a powerhouse program.

    We have to be happy with the championships we have and the fact we have excellent talent coming in next year. We have to be grateful for Donovan for even being anywhere in the Knight / Rivers discussion.


    Florida will be fine. We can not expect to lure players from top 20 programs so easily. There still is a lot of building to do in our program. For the most part we all need to realize Billy is still building and we are leaps and bounds better than we were 20 years ago. We will succeed again pulling three and four star talent. Just as we did with Noah, Horford, Green and Brewer.

    Having said that, with athletes coming in at the F position (Prather and Young) we will be back to playing the Billy ball we all love very soon.

  6. Pat says:

    Duke fan here.

    This sucks for you guys. It may be good for us, or it may not be. UNC and Duke will be awfully crowded in the backcourt when he arrives. I know he will play at either school, but neither starting nor heavy PT is a given.

    You guys may still be in it. If not Duke (us), then I would hope he goes to you guys rather than UNC. And certainly before he goes to Kentucky or Connecticut. I would lose a little respect for him if he goes to UK.

    As for the top recruits, well, get used to it. Yes, you won 2 straight titles, but I attribute that to what I call the Tim Duncan Effect. This is when a player (or players) wildely exceed expectations. Then, they stay much longer than expected. Given Billy’s results prior too, and since, then, it is expected.

    Besides, you guys are a football school. You regularly poach the top Football players in NC, and from the rest of the country. Meanwhile, UNC regularly loses the very best in state football prospects.

    Hoopsters do not want to play second fiddle. Heck, at UF some people would skip a local Final Four game in lieu of the Spring Practice Football game. If it were projected to be Nat Champ year, or a rebuilding year, a lot of people would do this.

    At UNC and Duke, they schedule football games arround Midnight madness or Blue White games. These young players are prima donnas, moreso in BBall than Football, and they are not going to go to a school where they are not the stars.

    Again, it sucks. But you guys have the nation’s premier football team to keep you warm. I am not sure it is possible to be a national power in both sports for a sustained period of time.

    The egos on these young athletes, in both sports, are insane.

    ps. Remember Kenny Boynton that Duke had recruited forever? You beat us for him.

    Good luck next year in Basketball.

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Pat. Nice to hear some insight from a basketball fan in NC.

  8. Dave says:

    Duke has two freshman point guards including Kyrie Erving (possibly the best in this class), plus, senior Nolan Smith, sophomore tansfer Seth Curry (Stephen Curry’s little brother who averaged 20pts a game his freshman year), and sharp shooter Andre Dawkins. Hard to see where he gets much playing time his freshman year at Duke. Although Erving and Smith will be probably be gone in a year.

  9. Dave says:

    My Mistake. Nolan and probably Kyrie WILL be gone.

  10. Daniel M. says:

    Great comments Pat, Nice to have an intelligent fan pop in. You made some great points. Gator Nation welcomes you back at any time.

  11. RD says:

    Many of the Florida kids growing up in the state are nothing but spoiled punks living in paradise – there is no real state pride here or a sense of community or commonality. Nobody originally came from this state. They are all from somewhere else.

    The University of Florida will be just fine without a Vince Carter (UNC), Chris Corchiani (NC St), Brandon Knight (Go to UK!), or an Austin Rivers (just go to Duke already!). There is plenty of other talent in America including true Floridians like Patric Young, Kenny Kadji, Chandler Parsons & Kenny Boynton – Bradley Beal from St Louis. The Gators will find them and go on to future glory! The Gators will continue to win National championships in football, basketball & other sports! The Gators play for GatorNation (which is everywhere) and not for some spoiled kids who are just passing by in Florida!

  12. ReptilesRule says:

    It makes me wonder (and a little concerned) that the perception of the program out there is that it has fallen off the map. Of course, Billy put it on the map and I guess the question is, can he put it back?? Kentucky will be the king of the “one and done’s” in the conference, Tennessee has now built a solid brand and will recruit top tier and UF will have to carefully scout, recruit and develop three and four star players. Unfortunately the one thing we didn’t achieve during the back to back years was the opportunity for momentum to launch the program into the elite, somehow that was lost…

  13. Joe says:

    When we won in 06 we weren’t even supposed to be at the top of the SEC let alone N. champions. We got lucky in that the young talent took Billy D’s coaching to heart and became a great team.

    As nice as it is to court five star players, we do not necessarily need the greatest players to make the greatest team. That is an NBA philosophy. We need 5 players who can really play together with a few key bench players and we will once again rise to the top of the NCAA tourney.

  14. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    A lot of good points…the wheels are not falling off…we should be a solid top 15 program next year and a legit challenger in the SEC (UK is losing Patterson, Orton, Wall, Bledsoe & Cousins) and we didn’t win our back to back’s with a bunch of Mc D’s All-Americans who more and more are becoming one and dones….one reason Butler would have been such a good story is it would be one more program winning it all without all the big names

  15. Joe says:

    Good point Drew.

    We have to be thankful that Billy D is a team coach and college basketball is still won by the best team, not the most talented players.

  16. David says:

    Another Duke fan.

    I would be surprised (pleasantly) if he came to Duke. There is a very broad group of back court talent already at Duke , and the fight for PT looks to be severe. The only counterargument that I can see is that the Duke front court talent that will be in place the next few years has both speed and skill, so it’d be very fun to be the guards playing with them. I’m betting the Coach K converts Duke to a much faster-paced team in the next few years when his talent is more capable of playing up tempo. This year’s team was awesome, but it had clear limitations on how fast it could play.

  17. npgator says:

    We have no chance with him now.

  18. brlgator says:

    I heard austin rivers is duke’s to lose, we are second but unc is coming on strong. I think its a stretch to say that we have a 0% chance of getting rivers. I d say more like 40%. Keep on recruiting Billy D most of us still believe in you

  19. Rowdyreps says:

    WE don’t want anyone in Florida that does not wanna be here. Things happen for a reason. If he goes to Duke he will be sharing time with Irving. NC is loaded as well. This kid made a big mistake today!

  20. ZACH says:


  21. Jordan says:

    4 reason he should come to north carolina.

    1st. North Carolina dosent have a real 2 guard and Rivers will have great playin time.

    2nd. H.Barnes, R.Bullock , K.Mendall, J.McAdoo, P.J Hairston, John Henson and Austin Rivers. THAT RIGHT THERE IS A HALF OF THE 2011 CHAMPS!!!

    3rd. With Rivers UNC will be champs easily and rivers success here may make him a 1st round lottery pick. PLUS HOW MANY OF DUKES PLAYERS HAVE DONE AS GOOD OF A JOB AS UNC PLAYERS IN THE NBA?

    4th. ITS NORTH CAROLINA !!!!

  22. ROGER says:



  23. ZACH/Jordan/ROGER – It is pretty funny that you are all the same person who commented from the same IP address.

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