Behind Enemy Lines: Duke G Austin Rivers

Feb 25, 2012; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Austin Rivers (0) reacts after getting fouled by Virginia Tech Hokies late in the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke beat Virginia Tech 70-65 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE

So this time in the Samurai Scouting Report (alternate title, perhaps?) we'll be discussing the Duke freshman phenom Austin Rivers. Truthfully, Rivers is only now coming into the level of play that many people were hyping him up for this year. The No. 3 recruit in his senior class, Rivers was expected to be crazy good right out the gate, While he never played badly (and in my opinion it's disingenuous to say so), he certainly was underwhelming at times given the expectations. That's not really fair to expect of a freshman though, and there's no doubt at all that Rivers has really blown up and has likely locked a spot on the All-ACC team.

Read more about Rivers after the jump...

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6'4"/200

Decent sized guard for sure, pretty big for college, but far from the biggest guard we'll encounter this year.

PPG: 15.5

Yeah, Rivers is a scoring machine, and he can do it from pretty much anywhere on the floor. Oddly enough, earlier in the year he had the most trouble when driving to the basket, but that aspect of his game has absolutely been getting more consistent as the season goes on.

eFG%: 52.2%

Really solid percentage for Rivers, though he takes almost five threes a game, which is a lot. His raw percentage is 44.3 on a rather staggering 11.6 shots per game.

FREE THROWS: 65% (on 5 attempts per game)

For a Coach K point guard, this is far from ideal. However, he gets to the line a lot, which is enough of a problem by itself, especially when you combine his ability to score from the field.

RPG: 3.3

Rivers isn't much of a rebounder, but then who on earth would need to be with the Plumlee brothers and Ryan Kelly around?

SPG: 0.9

I actually expected more from Rivers in this category. For context, Rivers has exactly as many steals as Travis McKie.

THREE POINT SHOOTING: 40 percent on 4.6 attempts per game

Not legendary, but certainly solid, and Rivers has also proven himself to be a real danger at the end of the shot clock and in high pressure situations.

APG: 2.1 (to 2.3 turnovers)

This is a surprising weakness in Rivers's game; for a point guard, he certainly doesn't distribute much, or even necessarily well. Rivers takes over a quarter of Duke's shots, though, so it's not necessarily a shock that his passing numbers are a bit underwhelming.

***

Rivers is a guy who, given the hype he was getting before he even stepped on a college court, might seem like he has some underwhelming numbers. But he's the leading scorer of the No. 3 team in the country on a roster riddled with All-Americans, so to say he's a quality player would be a vast understatement.

I don't see the Deacs keeping the margin under double digits, but if they play like they did on Saturday I think they can keep Duke honest. I'll say Duke by 13, despite impressive nights from Travis McKie, C.J. Harris and the senior Ty Walker on Senior Night.

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