Bloomington – D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera won't be a stranger to the IU basketball program or Bloomington this summer.
The 6'3", 200-pound freshman from Indianapolis' North Central H.S. made an unofficial visit to the Bloomington campus earlier this month, touring the facilities and sitting down with IU Coach Tom Crean to watch film. It wasn't the first time that Smith-Rivera has been to town, and it won't be the last.
"I do plan to visit IU over the summer pretty often," Smith-Rivera said. "I like it down here and the atmosphere is nice."
It's not only Bloomington where Crean and Smith-Rivera figure to cross paths in the summer months. Crean's youngest son plays in a basketball league with Smith-Rivera's younger brother in Fishers, and the two have had their paths cross there as well.
Whether it's courtesy the unofficial visits or the chance encounters, Crean has clearly made an impression on Smith-Rivera. That's good news for the Hoosiers, have already offered a scholarship to the Class of 2012 standout.
Indiana is one of three programs to offer Smith-Rivera, who averaged 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists as a freshman at North Central. Purdue and Tennessee have also been quick to offer the high school freshman, and Smith-Rivera says there's plenty he likes about those two programs as well.
"At Purdue, their atmosphere is good, like IU, the crowd is into it," Smith-Rivera said. "With Tennessee, the chemistry is great there. Everyone gets along well and they know what they're doing there."
While both are formidable recruiting foes, Indiana is clearly well positioned with him. Indiana might be coming off a difficult 6-25 campaign, but Crean has focused on his vision for the future of the program, and he thinks Smith-Rivera can be a very big part of that.
"He believes in what he's doing for this school," Smith-Rivera said. "He thinks it fits my personality and that I could really help out this system."
One of the things Smith-Rivera will be able to do for any team is provide a great deal of versatility. On his Team Indiana Elite AAU squad he can play four different positions. If his team needs a basket he's more than capable of handling the point guard duties and penetrating and either getting a mid-range jump shot or getting to the free-throw line. If he's not doing that, he is also adept at using his physical frame to post up inside against smaller players.
"I get in where I fit in," Smith-Rivera said. "I try to do what the coach needs me to do. I really don't try to put myself in a category. I just to do what I have to do to get a win."
While he knows he can fit in at a variety of positions on the floor, he's unsure what college program will ultimately prove to be the best fit for him. With three years of high school remaining, he's not thinking about making a decision in the near future.
"I'm talking it out with my parents," Smith-Rivera said. "I haven't decided where I'm going to go to – I'm trying to give it some time and just grow up."
Smith-Rivera To Be a Frequent IU Visitor
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