The Arkansas native started 17 times down the stretch and ended up averaging 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds a game, proving to be a valuable asset on the defensive end as well. Against No. 23 Michigan State, Rivers went 8-for-8 from the field, forcing future opponents to respect his mid-range jumper.
"My game grew in a lot of different places this offseason," said Rivers. "I'm strong, I'm quicker, I have improved my range in shooting, I was just working on a lot of different things...I don't want to limit myself anymore, I made it a goal to improve my range, so I could step out and shoot threes. Hopefully it will help the team."
Rivers is often a forgotten man by Nebraska fans as they anxiously wait the debut of players like Terran Petteway, Walter Pitchford, Tai Webster, and Deverell Biggs. But Rivers, who's up to 195 pounds, doesn't think his role with the team will be much different.
"I'm here to make things better. I need to be more of a vocal leader. With so many new faces, there are a lot of different things I can help out with, especially with the younger guys. Since I'm a junior, I need to help lead," said Rivers. "We are deep. We have a lot of talent, from the freshman, to the transfers, to Ray our senior. It should be a lot of fun."
BRR publisher Josh Harvey's analysis: At this point it's likely Rivers will come off the bench this season with the talent coming in, but if his game makes the same jump it did last season, he should be one of the best bench players in the Big Ten.