Originally written on SCACC Hoops  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Duke's leading scorer Austin Rivers is headed to the NBA.  A formal announcement will come next week at some point, but this should be no surprise to anyone.

Let's check real quick, raise your hand if this surprises you.  You, with your hand up, put it down.  You knew this was happening before the season started, you knew it after Rivers knocked down the game-winner against UNC.  The only reason you doubted it might happen is because the way the season ended for Duke and because likely you're a Duke fan hoping Rivers would come back.

The one thing is certain is Rivers is making an informed decision.  With his dad, Doc Rivers, coaching the Celtics he has just a few contacts around the league.  That said, I still have some doubts as to what kind of pro Austin Rivers will be.  Rivers certainly has a quick step and plays the screen-roll game well.  I can make a few comparisons to NBA players, but it always follows with a but.  It's those 'buts' that Rivers will now have to work on as a pro. 

This leaves a hole for Duke quite large.  Last season, Duke had 3 players that I felt were NBA caliber, Austin Rivers, Mason Plumlee, and Miles Plumlee (yes, I think he is an NBA player).  Duke now has none on their roster.  Certainly, Mason Plumlee may opt to return for his senior season, but even if he does next year may be rough for the Blue Devils.  The one hope that Duke fans can look to is the slim chance that Shabazz Muhammad comes to Duke.  The one thing is for sure, the stage is there at Duke for the nations top prospect and the shot attempts will be as well.  Muhammad will reported announce his decision on April 11th.  If I'm not mistaken, that is around the same time Plumlee will have to decide on whether or not he will return to Duke. 

It's safe to say, Rivers to the NBA was no surprise and Duke's future has just become more cloudy.

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