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June 25, 2009

A different Rivers awaits Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana coach Tom Crean says there will be something different about Jeremiah Rivers now compared to the player many saw on television playing for Georgetown during the 2007-08 season.

"Major difference in his body," Crean said. "He is at the Vince Carter Camp right now as one of the counselors, so I am anxious to see how he fares there."

Some of the Vince Carter Skills Academy college player counselors listed by Nike on their web site include Devin Ebanks of West Virginia, Tasmin Mitchell of LSU, Matt Bouldin of Gonzaga and Big Ten products DeShawn Sims of Michigan, Delvon Roe of Michigan State and William Buford of Ohio State.

The camp started Tuesday and runs through Monday. Counselors get together each day to play and work out against each other.

Crean says Rivers is more physically ready for that level of talent.

"His athleticism is completely different, his strength," Crean said. "He's always had the quickness. He is one of those kids that could be a shortstop or third baseman in baseball. He could be a defensive back in football, a hockey goalie. He's got the foot speed and the lateral quicks."

Decision-making on the court is also an area that has developed for the rising junior.

"He's really improved his vision," Crean said. "He's buying into 'less is more' with less dribbling and more driving. He is going to be outstanding for us in the pick and roll."

Rivers' father, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, was in Bloomington last week to spend time with his son. The Celtics coach also addressed the young attendees at last week's Indiana overnight basketball camp about the importance of hard work. His son provides a pretty good example for his father's words.

"Last fall and on, and I don't think it's any different now, he is as hard of a worker as we have," Crean said.

That's one of the big reasons you are likely to see Rivers on the court late for the Hoosiers in tight games this coming season. Rivers sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.

"He is going to be a lot of fun to coach," Crean said. "My father-in-law was watching ESPN Classic and an old Georgetown-Connecticut game. Jeremiah was in at the end of the game. You go back and watch their games, and he was in the game at the end and that's as a sophomore. That's going to be really important for us."



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