Tracking the College Stars of the Future
Saturday, March 23, 2002
By Thad Mumau
motivated by ECU's league slate
Rivers relishes Pirates' underdog role and building
is happy to be a Pirate, and unlike many freshmen, the combination guard
from Atlanta is not concerned about playing time.
Iím not thinking about starting," said the prolific scorer from Frederick
Douglass High School. "Iím not even thinking in terms of playing time. The
East Carolina coaches said I would play if I worked hard. How much, I donít
know. Weíll just have to see how things work out."
committed to ECU March 18 after averaging 32 points, 6.1 assists, five
rebounds and 2.5 steals his senior season. He hit an average of 4.5
three-pointers a game and exploded for 10 treys in a 36-point performance
against Clarkston High School.
occasion, he torched the same school for a career-high 42 points with eight
threes. Douglass was eliminated by Lakeside in the regional playoffs despite
Riversí 37 points, none of which came in the first quarter. He nailed nine
threes in his final regular-season game on the way to 33 points, also
range is three or four feet behind the arc," Douglass coach Frank Robinson
said. "The kid is amazing the way he can shoot the basketball. He can pass
it, too. He isnít a jet like some of these little scooters, but heís pretty
good size at 6-3 and 190 pounds, size that will help him in Division I wars.
"He can take a
hit and not be affected," Robinson said. "Heís a Timex because he keeps on
ticking. Belton is a really tough competitor."
Riversí role with the Pirates, the Douglass coach said, "I saw them play a
couple of games, and it looked like Belton will be surrounded with good men.
They need a scoring guard, and he will sure fit in there.
"I see him as
a two guard who can back up at point guard. And thatís what East Carolina
needs. Belton is already bigger than a lot of college guards. Itís hard to
find a guard his size that can play one or two."
Rivers has no qualms about playing either of
the guard positions.
"I see myself
as a combo guard," Rivers said. "I like the point, but I will play anywhere
they want me. I think I am going into a good situation at East Carolina.
They told me I will play both guard spots."
has become known as a big scorer, Rivers foresees no glitches in taking on
the point guard mentality when called upon ó a role normally associated with
being a floor general while assuming the bottom slot on the list of players
to get shooting opportunities.
Rivers said. "I can do whatever I need to do. Adapting to that way of
thinking wonít be hard at all."
Coach: Fans in for a surprise
membership in Conference USA was a factor in Riversí decision as he chose
the Bucs over South Carolina, Kansas State, Tulane and Rutgers, all of which
the teams we will be playing," he said. "The conference weíre in means some
TV time and a lot of competition. I want to play the tough teams."
East Carolina followers and other fans in Conference USA are in for a treat.
"Belton is a
sleeper," he said. "Not many people know about him. He is going to surprise
a lot of people.
"He can jump ó
he will dunk on you ó and he can take the ball to the basket. Heíll go by
you. If you pick him up, he will dump to a big guy. Play off of him, and
heíll drain the three."
became interested in Rivers a bit late, but not too late.
"They came to
see me play twice," he said, "and both times were late in the season. I had
gotten some mail from them, but nothing serious. Then, when they came to see
me play, I got interested."
only official visits were to East Carolina and Alabama State. He is
qualified for freshman eligibility as he has a 2.9 grade-point average and a
19 on the ACT. He plans to attend the second session of summer school in
excited," he said. "I like the coaching staff at ECU a lot, and I like being
the underdog. I look forward to being part of a building project, and I
think we have the players to be a good team."
Rivers, who is
not ranked in the Prepstars.com top 300 seniors, is the second member of
Bill Herrion's 2002 recruiting class. The other is Kinston (NC) High
School's 6-7 Corey Rouse, who signed in November.
sign during the spring signing period which begins April 10.
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02/23/2007 02:39:44 PM