Rivers Starts High School Season Strong

The high school hoops season has kicked off across the country with a number of high major prospect taking the court looking to position themselves to move up their respective class rankings. Among those is 6-foot-4 combo guard Austin Rivers, who is off to a big time start for Winter Park (Fla.) High.

"So far we're 2-1, and I was pretty frustrated with the one," said Austin Rivers of his early season results. "I really thought we didn't play well, but I can't focus on that. We need to focus on improving and getting stronger all over the court."

Always considered a big time scorer, Rivers previously indicated a goal of becoming a more well rounded player during his junior campaign - focusing on defense and running his team. And while he's worked on that, the scoring prowess is still there.

"Right now I'm averaging 36 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game," said Rivers. "I've been playing both guard positions and on the wing some as well. I really want to make sure I have the versatility to play wherever I am needed at the next level. Plus, our team doesn't have a lot of size, so it gives me a chance to really play all over the place."

"But mainly I've been working on being able to go inside and get more rebounds and working on my vision to get more assist. Plus, I make it a goal to be assigned the other team's best player on defense."

Another off-season improvement Rivers believes he's made is his overall level of athleticism.

"I really think I've gotten quicker and stronger, and have just worked hard to become a better athlete overall. My goal is to really practice like I play."

With a busy high school schedule that will take Rivers and WInter Park on the court more than 30 times including a February 5th game broadcast live on ESPN2, it's no surprise that recruiting has taken a back seat. However, the five star prospect admits to keeping up with the various goings on in the recruiting world.

"That's one thing I love about AAU in the summer. You get a chance to become friends with kids from all over. I keep in touch with a lot of guys. I talk to guys like [Duke 2010 commit] Kyrie [Irving] and others a lot. A good example is I'd been getting texts all day about Brad committing to Florida. We're all staying in touch a bunch."

Which begs the question of where Rivers currently stands with his well-publicized recruitment.

"Not much has really changed at this point. I'm still committed to Florida and have interest in Duke. I don't expect to do much any time soon, because I'm just focusing on my season at this point. I'm going to take my time with all that stuff."

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