Austin Rivers is the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2011. He spent much of last week engaged in thorough global hoops destruction at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, including a 9-for-12 shooting night in a 35-point performance against Canada. And now, it's looking more and more like Rivers is going to take that prodigious talent to Duke.
Why? Beyond the actual recruiting stuff -- Rivers has long been leaning toward Duke -- the guard walked out of the FIBA locker rooms in San Antonio wearing a particularly telling outfit. From SI's Luke Winn:
Rivers appears to like Duke -- a lot. He was once committed to Florida, but is now viewed as heavily leaning toward the Blue Devils. Strong evidence of that: When he emerged from the U.S. locker room after Wednesday's win over Brazil, in which he scored 19 points, he was wearing his gold medal over a Duke 2009-10 national champions T-shirt. And he was wearing a pair of official Duke shorts. He said not to read too much into it, but how can you not?
The answer? You can't. Er, you can't not. Whatever. You know what I mean.
There's also the small matter of Rivers' backcourt partner on the U.S. U18 team, one Mr. Kyrie Irving. Irving is Duke's top recruit for 2010, the top point guard in his class, and a player that could help Duke capture their second-straight NCAA title in 2010-11. Irving insisted to Winn he's not putting any pressure on Rivers to choose the Dukies; he said the shorts were all Rivers' choice. But given how well the two players gelled in their gold medal run in San Antonio, the prospect of the duo teaming up for the Blue Devils in 2011-12 has to be awfully tempting.