ITH Super Happy Fun Time Player Profile: Jeremiah Rivers

  • 10/13/2009 11:03 am in

jeremiahriversHoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Jeremiah Rivers.

There is no player on this 2009-10 Hoosiers squad I’m more interested in seeing on the court than Jeremiah Rivers. I’ve heard and read so much about him: how he’s the leader the team so desperately needs; how he looks terrific in practice; how he’ll be a rock at point guard for IU. He is part of a basketball pedigree with his father being Doc Rivers, while leaving a school, Georgetown, that’s been quite good in recent years to transfer to Indiana.

I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind that he’ll be the starter from day one, and it’s his job to lose as the season progresses. There’s a sentiment that with Rivers at the helm, everything feels safe: there is no wildness of Daniel Moore, there is no Verdell Jones perhaps playing a bit out of position. There is a point guard. A true point guard.

But have we all been duped? Think about the level of competition Rivers practiced against last season, the one he looked so good against. It wasn’t exactly stellar. As a sophomore at Georgetown, he only averaged 2.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and one assist in 18.6 minutes. I know he was brought in mainly for defense, and wasn’t a go-to guy. But that’s hardly anything to write home about.

Look: Rivers will be an upgrade over what the Hoosiers marched out at point last year. He’ll be better. And, trust me: I want Rivers to be as good as advertised. I want him to lead this team. It’s just that, based on past performance and a year of practicing against weaker competition, I’m  going to be cautiously optimistic about him heading into this year.

Bottom line: Rivers offers an immediate, reliable and experienced upgrade for the Hoosiers at point guard this season. Unlike Jordan Hulls, he has a year under Tom Crean’s system, which should help smooth out any wrinkles once the season is underway.

Quotable: “As a coach you want the leadership vacuum to be filled right now. You want it to be set. But it is not like that. He hasn’t played in a year. I don’t know that he always understands when I say this, but he has won at every level. There is no question about that. He won in high school and he won in college. He has won three BIG EAST Championships (ed. note:  this is inaccurate, he was only at Georgetown two years) and has been to a Final Four. However, outside of high school, which is a little different, I’m not sure he has absolutely been responsible for winning. He is going to have a huge responsibility in how we play to win. Not just coming in like at Georgetown. Now, he was on the court a lot at winning time at Georgetown because of his defensive abilities, but he also wasn’t the lead guard. He also wasn’t one of the 28 or 30 minutes a game guys. He very well could play into that for us.” — Coach Crean on Rivers

Rivers talks about his father, and coming to IU last season:

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  • because it's Indiana

    We have not been duped. He will be the real deal. He doesn't have to be Magic Johnson, just a cool head who can distribute and lockdown Kalin Lucas (ok..slow down Lucas). I keep thinking back to Jerry CT's analysis: 6-10 pts less allowed because of defense and 4-6 more on offense and we are a .500 team.

  • iumarine

    As Rivers goes, so goes IU. This team high on talent, but low on experience. Rivers is now ready to start his 4th year of D1 experience. I am expecting a lot from him and if he delivers we should be a vastly improved team.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • GFDave

    Duped? I don't know. It seems everybody has been high on Rivers from the very start when he transferred. If there is any duping, and I don't think there has been, we've done it too ourselves.

    Living in the DC area, I've seen Georgetown on TV quite a bit. Saw Rivers play numerous times both seasons. He was ok on the ball and better than average defensively. They didn't look to him to score much. Now that he's a junior with 3 years of college practice and 2 years of game play behind him, I think he will be good. Great? Probably not. Way better than what we had last year at point? Hell yes.


    The “he hasn't been going up against teammates with alot of expercience in practice” angle has not been talked about alot if at all and is a very good point. Then there is the ” there is no subistute for actual game time expercience” thing and so on and so on. There should be no denying that the fact that his dad is who he is helps in more ways than what we probably realize. Just being around his practices and players cannot hurt. Maybe the most reassuring thing is the amount of time Crean has had with him before he hits the floor. He can't help but have gotten better and more ready to go on day 1. This is but one question of many that we will not start to get answers to until the opening tip of the first game. Unfortunatly what there is no question about is that if he is not what we think he will be we will struggle again at that position at least for good while in the beginning.

  • stevealford

    By the time conference play comes around , I expect Hulls to be replace him in the lineup. He is a good defensive player , but his offense is very bad unless he has GREATLY improved since Georgetown. Hulls is a better ball handler, better shooter, and better passer. Rivers should add great depth to our bench.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I understand the concerns. However, I think we need to put what he does for the Hoosiers into perspective. He brings a winning attitude and an on-court leadership. He brings steadiness with the ball (turnovers and empty possessions kill you, Rivers will help eliminate those). He is a lock down defender.

    Anyone suggesting that Rivers is an 1st team Big Ten point guard is kidding themselves. However, he is a big upgrade and his presence on the floor will help the rest of the lineup. Whatever points he provides will be gravy.

  • Duder

    Practicing against poor competition is irrelevant. Is he an NBA superstar because he plays with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce? Is he as good as Rajon Rondo because they play one on one?

    He played 18 minutes on a great team that made it to the Final Four and played his role. If he plays his different role for us we will be contenda’s

  • Name

    I think when he sees a dramatic increase in minutes per game, he just might develop a scorer’s mentality. Something he did not have at Gtown.

  • BGleas

    He wasn't around Celtics practices very often, although I bet he was around the Magic practices when he was younger. But, just having a Dad that played in the NBA and is a successful coach is a good thing.

    I'm with Jerry's past analysis that Rivers cutting the TO's and better defense at the top will result in a certain amount of ppg and add several wins this season. He might not be the best player on the team, but he'll be a calming influence and the leader/PG this team lacked last season.

  • Peter

    And wqe know he can dance!

  • MillaRed

    I think when we need to look at the bigger picture here guys. Rivers was an underclassman on a Final Four team. He's lucky he played at all.

    Many power houses in the NCAA this season have juniors to be who rarely saw the court last year that were McDonald's All-American's!!!

    The two projected starters in Louisville that got into trouble (in Indiana) last week averaged what? 3 and 5 points a game last year? Louisville is a Sweet 16 team easy.

    My point is, throw away the stats folks. This kid is the real deal. No one is taking his job. He will face every challenge this year and won't flinch. Hell, he probably has played open gym with 50 NBA players. Rivers will be HUGE for the Hoosiers. He is our best incoming player from a “winning” perspective.

  • Hoosier Clarion

    His year under Coach Crean’s eyes means IU will have far fewer turnovers, mature leadership, strong defense at the point and crisp accurate passing using good floor vision. Some gravy might include strong to the bucket, good free throw shooting % and clutch baskets from outside. He is a Senior in years so I am not expecting anything less with his pedigree.

  • HoosierGirl

    Hulls has to come close to Rivers “from a winning perspective”. I know it is on a high school stage, but is still worth noting.

  • socalhoosier2005

    Correction: Crean is correct when he says that Rivers won 3 Big East titles; Georgetown won two regular season titles (2007 and 2008) and one tournament title (2007), so that's probably what he means.

  • tberry

    I have to admit that I am a little concerned because I believe that past performance points to future performance.

    Maybe he will be better than what we had but I doubt that he will be a star.

    In fact, that is why we should fire Lynch….lousy past performance that has lead to lousy current performance.

  • HairyTutchens

    Regarding Crean's comment that Rivers won 3 Big East championships – I was at Crean's speech to the student body and I interpreted that comment as including regular season and conference tournament championships. So, in one of the seasons that Rivers was at GU, the Hoyas won the regular season championship and the conference tournament at MSG.

  • gregmquinn

    I look forward to seeing some experience on the floor. Rivers and Dumes along with all of the playing time Pritchard got last year should be a big improvement. I am one of the only Hoosier fans who didn't mind losing out on Irving because I think Hulls is going to be an all-time great Hoosier. I hope Rivers abuses him in practice for a couple of years and helps elevate his winning attitude and toughness.

  • BGleas

    I don't think people are expecting him to be a star. We're just expecting he'll be a leader, calming influence and reliable point guard that plays good D, cuts down on team turnovers and shows improved offense from his time at GU.

  • GFDave

    Exactly. You nailed it.

  • MillaRed

    We're both fond of Jordan HoosierGirl trust me. The fact we have both makes me very happy. Hulls just doesn't have the experience that JR has at this stage. I think the fact he has someone like JR to learn from is huge because it appears he is a great leader.

    The future at PG likes bright for IU. CTC obviously made that position at priority.

  • MillaRed

    Well said Gleas. I don't expect him to be an All-Big Ten performer. But I won't be shocked if he is 3rd team in the category.

    Call me crazy, but i just cannot see a kid with this size and handle throwing the ball away 6 times a game! How hard was that too watch? Good point guards have a 2:1 turnover ratio or better. I think he'll do that and more this season. Did we have any guards with more assists than turnovers last year? Let me know because I doubt that happened.

  • Marcus Gresham

    I don't remember specifics of who won what, but could the reference to “three Big East Championships” be including regular season and tournament championships? If that's the case, he could have been a part of three.

  • Marcus Gresham

    I don't remember specifics of who won what, but could the reference to “three Big East Championships” be including regular season and tournament championships? If that's the case, he could have been a part of three.