Austin Rivers going for NBA draft

Updated: March 23, 2012, 11:13 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Duke freshman guard Austin Rivers will declare for the NBA draft, sources said Friday.

He will make the formal announcement next week after spending the weekend at home in Orlando.

CBSSports.com reported earlier Friday that Rivers was planning to enter the draft.

The Blue Devils' coaching staff knew in the latter part of the season that Rivers was going to leave, multiple sources with direct knowledge at Duke told ESPN.com.

Rivers will become the fourth player under Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to play one season for the Blue Devils before leaving for the NBA. The other three were Corey Maggette, Luol Deng and last season's No. 1 draft pick, Kyrie Irving.

Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is expected to be a first-round draft pick.

Doc Rivers said his son has yet to hire an agent.

"Not yet," he said. "... I heard the reports, but he hasn't decided anything yet."

When asked if he'd helped Austin make the decision, Rivers said: "At the end of the day, all you can do with all your kids, or any kid in this situation, is give them as much input as you can, then you try to let them make the decision. They have to make it; you can't make it for them."

However, Rivers did call the possibility of having Austin on the Celtics "interesting ... very interesting."

If Austin Rivers, or any underclassman who has declared for the draft, wants to change his mind, he has only until April 10 under a new NCAA rule. Last year, the deadline was May 8.

However, the NBA is retaining its April 29 deadline for a player to declare his eligibility for the draft, and its June 18 deadline to withdraw from the draft.

Rivers, whose memorable buzzer-beating 3-point shot over North Carolina's Tyler Zeller catapulted the Blue Devils to a stunning 85-84 win Feb. 8, averaged 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists at Duke.

The Blue Devils also are waiting on the decision of junior forward Mason Plumlee, who has decided to declare for the draft but won't actually send in his paperwork until he learns if he's a likely first-round pick. Duke's staff is gathering information for him before April 10.

The Blue Devils still have plenty of guards, with the return of Seth Curry, Tyler Thornton, Andre Dawkins and Quinn Cook. And Duke fully expects incoming freshman Rasheed Sulaimon to be an impact player.

But Duke isn't staying idle, either. The Blue Devis are in the hunt for one of the top two players in the class in Shabazz Muhammad out of Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, along with Kentucky, UNLV, UCLA, USC and Kansas.

Duke had Central Michigan wing Trey Zeigler on campus for a recruiting visit Friday, according to sources. The hope is Zeigler, wherever he signs, could play immediately next season with an NCAA waiver after his father, Ernie, was fired March 14 as the Chippewas' coach.

Sources also said Duke could be among a handful of schools that UConn forward Alex Oriakhi talks to after he announced Thursday he's transferring from the Huskies for his senior season. Oriakhi can play immediately as long as the Huskies' 2013 NCAA tournament ban, stemming from its poor academic progress report, is upheld.

The Blue Devils also return Ryan Kelly, who missed the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament second-round loss to Lehigh because of a foot injury, Marshall Plumlee (and possibly Mason), as well as Alex Murphy, Josh Hairston and Michael Gbinije in the frontcourt.

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg was used in this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com