Posted by Jeff Borzello
HAMPTON, Va. – D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was planning on sitting out the entire AAU circuit.
“I wanted to improve a lot of aspects of my game,” Smith-Rivera said over the weekend.
Most opponents now wish Smith-Rivera had stayed true to his original intentions.
Instead of staying home, Smith-Rivera lit up the Boo Williams EYBL event in Hampton last weekend, averaging 20.8 points per game for Spiece Indy Heat, including a 31-point effort against MoKan Elite on Saturday.
In a relatively weak guard class, Smith-Rivera has made himself one of the most attractive options in the country. The 6-foot-3, 210-lb. combo guard can handle the ball and initiate offense for his teammates, while also showing the ability to penetrate past his defender and finish at the rim. He is physically stronger than most opponents and uses that to his advantage, drawing fouls and getting baskets through contact. Smith-Rivera also has very good range and accuracy on his 3-point shot.
When it comes to recruiting, Smith-Rivera committed to Xavier in October before decommitting from the Musketeers in late December and reopening his recruitment.
“I just wanted to explore my options,” he said.
Chris Mack and company still have an edge on the rest of the suitors, though.
“I think Xavier has a leg up,” Smith-Rivera said. “They got on me early.”
Other schools in the mix include UCLA, Texas, Baylor, Miami (Fl.), Georgetown and Ohio State.
Expect the North Central (Ind.) product to take his time with his new decision – after he gets finished filling it up on the AAU circuit.
Photo: Indy Star