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Coach K says Rivers must learn to be ‘complete player’


There’s little doubt Austin Rivers will be one of Duke’s impact players next season. The 6-3 sharpshooting guard is Rivals’ top recruit for the class of 2011 thanks to his scoring ability, confidence and hoops IQ.

However. At least one college hoops coach says Rivers must improve in some areas. And it happens to be the coach that matters.

“He’s got to change,” coach Mike Krzyzewski told the Raleigh News & Observer. “He’s got to learn to become a complete player. For any freshman coming in, there’s a huge difference in playing with older guys, more physical. It’s a whole different thing.”

That’s worth noting. Coach K isn’t shy about relying on freshmen, so it’s not like he’s skeptical of Rivers’ talents. It sounds like he’s more concerned about Rivers being too comfortable and not starting his college career with a hunger to improve.

After all, Rivers could be Duke’s top scorer next season. And Coach K’s hardly worried about Rivers’ work ethic. He just wants to ensure Rivers isn’t an offense-only player.

“We’re happy to have him,” Krzyzewski said. “He has a beautiful heart and an amazing, competitive spirit.”

Also, Rivers can throw down a nasty dunk or two. Ask Rasheed Wallace about that.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.