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The 2012 NCAA Tournament’s Top 5 Freshmen

By 03.15.12

The famous progency of a famous coach following a famous No. 1 pick, Austin Rivers’ first year at Duke has mostly lived up to enormous expectations. The 29-point, buzzer-beating game at No. 1-seed North Carolina he dropped in February earned him instant-electee status in the Blue Devils’ pantheon. At 6-4 and 200 pounds, he’s a bigger guard than the kind running today’s NBA — Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose — though he could be a two-guard as a pro. His 15.4 points led Duke and was eighth in the ACC, and he was the only freshman among the top 20 in a conference that’s not exactly some church league. It’s no longer a knock to be a score-first ballhandler after the effect of the aforementioned point guards, and that will play into his rising stock. Sorry Boston fans, there’s no way he falls to his dad’s Celtics.

Who he reminds me of: Rajon Rondo

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