Rivers in Flow

C.J. Rivers usually isn't the first name talked about when discussing the SW Illinois Jets 16U squad. He doesn't mind. He just continues to drive the bus.

C.J. Rivers blends in. It's part of his job as a point guard.

The Class of 2014 doesn't mind taking a backseat to talented scorers from his Southwestern Illinois Jets 16U squad. Peyton Allen, Darreon Reddick and Darius Austin can fill it up.

"I'm not the go-out-and-score type or someone looking for my shot first," Rivers said. "Maybe I'm overlooked. But that's ok. I'm a point guard looking for an assist.

"It's a lot of fun playing with these guys. There are a lot of options you can go to on the floor. You have a shooter in Peyton. You have slashers in Darreon and Darius. There's so much you can do with these guys."

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Rivers plays at Cahokia (IL) High with Austin.

"I think the best thing I do is facilitate," Rivers said. "I get teammates involved; push the tempo. I think I see the court well and can find the open man."

Rivers isn't resting on his success.

"I'm really trying to improve on decision making," he said. "I want to be able to make those split-decision passes when a man is open."

College scouts are starting to recognize Rivers' ability to run a team of talented players.

"I think I had a good April," he said. "I played well in front of some coaches. Right now it's still fun. I'm talking to a lot of coaches. I'm really enjoying it all."

Rivers was expected to join Allen, Austin and Reddick on a visit to Iowa on Saturday. The quartet also has trips set up to Xavier and Nebraska this month. He could not make it to see the Hawkeyes.

"I don't know much about Iowa and Nebraska," Rivers said. "I caught a game at Xavier one time. I've seen the campus and the arena.

"I feel that all three have interest in me and I have strong interest in all three."

Rivers also reports that St. Louis, Wichita State, Michigan and Tennessee are in contact with him.

"I'm looking for a good campus lifestyle," Rivers said. "I want to see what type of bond the players have with the coaches. I'm just seeing what schools are interested and finding out my interest in those schools and taking it from there.

Rivers is exploring a major in criminal justice or sports management.


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