Coach K Thinks Rivers is ‘An Alpha Dog’
To be clear, I’m sure (Austin) Rivers is a nice young man and I don’t have concerns about his character. In fact, Coach K believes that Rivers’ ultracompetitive personality is what will help him at the next level.
“He is an alpha dog. I think he will succeed in the NBA because of that,” (Mike) Krzyzewski said. “He believes he’s going to be great. I’d rather have a guy like that than a guy who doesn’t believe in himself.”
He also acknowledged that Rivers, like every young prospect, still has a lot of work to do.
“He needs to be a better rebounder and a defender on and off the ball,” Krzyzewski said.
“Some players, they learn one punch. When you take that punch away, they get knocked out. He needs to use that aggressive mentality to work on new things about his game.
“When Austin came to Duke, I told him that every player is like a house: The more skills you learn, the more windows you have on your house. When he came to Duke, he had one really big window. He was an amazing scorer. The goal was to add more windows to his game. He’s in that process right now.
“I hope he gets a demanding coach at the next level who pushes him to keep adding to his game. That’s how he’ll become great. If he reverts back to just doing the thing he does well, his chances lessen that he’s a good player in the NBA.”