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Austin Rivers Becomes Fourth Duke Freshman to Enter NBA Draft

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Duke University guard Austin Rivers will enter this year’s National Basketball Association draft after becoming the third player in school history to lead the team in scoring as a freshman.

Rivers, 19, the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is the fourth Duke player to leave for the NBA after playing one season of college basketball, following Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004) and Kyrie Irving (2011). All three were among the top 13 players selected in their respective drafts, with Irving taken No. 1 overall last year.

“Austin had a terrific year as a freshman and has put himself in a position to pursue his dream,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said yesterday in a statement. “He is an outstanding young man with an even more impressive family. We look forward to watching him continue to develop and excel at the next level.”

Rivers, who plans to hire an agent, averaged 15.5 points for the Blue Devils this season to join Johnny Dawkins (1983) and Bill Sapp (1945) as the only freshmen to lead Duke in scoring. The Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year, Rivers also averaged 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

“Coach K and the rest of the staff really helped me develop and improve in all areas of the game,” Rivers said. “It was a difficult decision to leave Duke, but I am excited about chasing my dream of playing in the NBA.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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