Smith-Rivera Trying to Remain Patient

Bloomington – D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera admits there have been times when he's been ready to bring an end to his recruitment...

Bloomington – D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera admits there have been times when he's been ready to bring an end to his recruitment.

The 6'3", 200-pound Indianapolis North Central standout might only have one year of high school basketball under his belt, but he's already a well known commodity to most college basketball coaches. With scholarship offers from Indiana, Purdue, Xavier and Tennessee, he already has a handful of quality options from which to choose.

Any thoughts of an early decision for this Class of 2012 prospect, though, are pretty well brought to a halt by Smith-Rivera's parents.

"My mom has been the patient one," Smith-Rivera said Monday night. "I've been pretty ready to get it over with."

Ultimately, Smith-Rivera has opted to go along with his parents' advice and hold off on making an early verbal commitment. Instead, he'll see what develops over the next season before he takes a closer look at his list of possibilities.

"I'm pretty sure around this time next year we'll be narrowing it down," Smith-Rivera said. "I don't know if I'll commit then, but I'm pretty sure me and my parents will narrow it down then."

Even more high-profile programs figure to take notice of Smith-Rivera during that time. He recently took an unofficial trip to Kentucky to visit Coach John Calipari's program, and Smith-Rivera said North Carolina has had staff members to North Central H.S. on a couple of occasions to talk to his high school coach, Doug Mitchell. He also plans to head to South Bend in October to check out Mike Brey's program.

"It's been pretty exciting so far," Smith-Rivera said. "I've been talking to my parents and seeing where they're at as far as schools and what they see throughout the visits. I'm seeing how much they like schools, and I'm seeing how much I like them, too."

Smith-Rivera burst onto the Indiana high school basketball scene as a true freshman, averaging 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists on a North Central H.S. team that was ranked No. 2 in the state heading into the tournament. With both he and Purdue-bound senior Terone Johnson back to lead the squad this season, Mitchell's team figures to be among the preseason favorites to win the state title.

The Indiana coaching staff figures to be on hand for as many of Smith-Rivera's games as possible. He's clearly one of the Hoosiers' most coveted 2012 in-state targets along with Broad Ripple's Ron Patterson.

"Indiana is still up towards the top of my list," Smith-Rivera said. "Nothing has changed with that. I like how encouraging and exciting the coaches are there. They are an inspiration to me. Coach (Tom) Crean has come so far and done so much for the program."

One of the things Crean has done for the program is add a staff member that has some strong ties to Smith-Rivera. Drew Adams, a former Bloomington South standout who spent the last two years as a student assistant at Tennessee, coached Smith-Rivera this past summer on the Team Indiana Elite squad that was among the nation's best in their age group.

While Adams' addition to the staff can't hurt Indiana's chances, Smith-Rivera said it won't have a huge impact on his decision, whenever that comes.

"It really doesn't have an impact," Smith-Rivera said. "At the same time, coach Adams had to do what he had to do. I hope it works out for the best for him."


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