Rivers To Visit Duke Next Week

After committing extremely early to Florida, five star combo guard Austin Rivers says he's looking to test his decision by making some visits to other high major programs. The first stop on his list of visits will come next weekend when Rivers and his family will make their way to Durham, N.C.

"I'm still solidly committed to Florida," said Austin Rivers. "But, I want to go up and see Duke next weekend. I wanted to see the campus. It gets pretty crazy up there and I wanted to see what it's all about. Duke has such a history and such prestige, and I want to see what makes Duke, Duke."

Previously Rivers has gone on record saying the purpose of "looking around" is to test his Florida commitment against other schools in an effort to re-affirm his pledge to head coach Billy Donovan's program. And, heading into next weekend's trip to Durham, the plan remains the same.

"I'm 99 percent sure I'm going stay with Florida. I may go see some other schools aside from Duke though. Just to test it out. I want to see what distinguishes each program from one another. Once I get back from my visits, I will probably sit down and re-measure each program against Florida."

Because of his verbal commitment, Rivers has yet to directly speak with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski or members of the Blue Devils' staff. Instead, he's allowing his parents to be the intermediaries for the process. As such, it was his parents who placed a call to Durham and informed the Blue Devils that Rivers would like to make an unofficial trip next week.

"Because I wasn't too sure about the NCAA rules and who could and couldn't talk to whom, I just let my parents handle that. The Duke coaches talked to my parents and they were very good about it. They told them that they would love to have me come on a visit, but since I was still committed to Florida they couldn't really recruit met too much. They don't want to step on Coach Donovan's toes or anything like that. They know I'm coming up there committed to Florida, and that I just want to kind of take a look around."

With the lack of direct communication likely ending next week, Rivers says he has a couple of small questions for Coach K. Though not as many as the typical recruit.

"Because I don't really know him too well, I am kind of open to learning about things. I want to know what kind of offense they run. How they make players better. What kind of relationship the coaches and players have - are they close. These are the things I love about Florida, so I want to know how Duke and the other schools compare."

The other schools likely to earn visits from Rivers this year appear to be UCLA and Connecticut. Like Duke, Rivers considers the Bruins and Huskies to be among the nation's elite and hopes to add their data to his recruiting equation in the coming months.

"I am really looking to see what makes each one unique. What makes UConn…UConn. What sets UCLA apart? I'm not looking for someone to try and sell me against Florida, I'm just trying to make sure I have a good idea of some of the elite programs so I can see how those measure up to Florida."

Meanwhile, according to Rivers, the Gator coaching staff has been extremely supportive of his recent recruiting activities.

"They've given me space because they know I'm solid with them. They haven't pressured me or anything. Coach Donovan and the assistant coaches have all been really supportive of me. They are confident I'm going to stick with Florida."

Rivers is rated as the nation's top shooting guard in the class of 2011 by Scout.com. He is considered the nation's number four overall prospect with a five star rating.


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