David Rivers is an intriguing prospect for the Husker basketball program entering the season. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward was one of Nebraska's primary reserves a year ago, appearing in 19 games and averaging nearly nine minutes per game. Rivers showed signs of his potential at times, scoring a season high eight points and grabbing five rebounds in 18 minutes against NCAA Tournament qualifier South Dakota State. Rivers is an excellent athlete and has the length to be a factor on both ends of the court. One area where Rivers has made great strides is in his strength, adding nearly 20 pounds over the last year. As he continues to get acclimated to a new system, Rivers could put himself in position to earn significant playing time.
Rivers was one of three freshmen to see action for the Huskers, as he earned playing time on the wing and in the post. He appeared in 19 games, averaging 1.1 points and 0.8 rebounds a game while averaging 8.3 minutes per contest. Rivers was an active player inside as nearly half of his rebounds were on the offensive glass.
After playing a total of nine minutes in the Huskers' first four games, Rivers got his first opportunity against eventual NCAA qualifier South Dakota State, as Caleb Walker was limited to just 12 minutes because of the flu. Rivers set personal bests with eight points and five rebounds, hitting 3-of-5 shots from the field in 18 minutes off the bench. He continued to play well off the bench against Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 30, totaling three points and three rebounds, including a pair of offensive caroms, in 17 minutes. He also played well in a come-from-behind win at TCU on Dec. 10, totaling five points and an assist in 13 minutes of work and had a season-high two assists along with two points in 18 minutes against Alcorn State on Dec. 17.
In Big Ten action, Rivers played in Nebraska's first three games as the Huskers were down a pair of regulars, including a career-high 20 minutes at No. 6 Ohio State on Jan. 3. He played just seven minutes over the next eight games before playing two minutes against Michigan on Feb. 8. He saw action in five consecutive games late in the conference season, including eight minutes of action at No. 6 Michigan State on Feb. 25. He also played three minutes in the Huskers' Big Ten Tournament opener.
Rivers came to Nebraska following a distinguished prep career, winning three state titles at Hall High School in Little Rock for Coach Eric Coleman. Rivers, who has started since midway through his freshman year, was a three-time all-conference performer and helped Hall High School win three state titles (2008, 2010, 2011) and earn a runner-up finish (2009).
As a senior, Rivers led Hall to the Class 7A (largest class) state crown and a 23-7 record, averaging 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game. He was a consensus first-team all-state performer and was the MVP of the state tournament, scoring 19 points and grabbing six rebounds in the title game against West Memphis after scoring 23 points in a semifinal win over Rogers High School. He was rated as the No. 46 small forward nationally by ESPN, was a three-star pick by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, and also was ranked among the top 150 overall prospects in the country by various scouting services. He was also named the state MVP and selected to the All-Southern Boys basketball team by the Orlando Sentinel following his senior campaign.
As a junior, he averaged 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks per game, leading Hall to a 28-3 record and a Class 6A state title. A first-team all-state selection, Rivers had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a 64-59 win over West Memphis in the Class 6A state title game. He had four games with at least 20 points as a junior, including a season-high 26 points against Jacksonville.
He played AAU ball with the Arkansas Wings and Coach Ron Crawford, helping the 17-and-under team to the 2010 AAU National Championship in Orlando, as well as the Best Buy Classic Championship in Minneapolis in 2010.
David is the son of Phillis Rivers and Ezell and Karen Rivers and was born on Feb. 22, 1993. Ezelle Rivers played collegiately at UALR from 1982 to 1985. The younger Rivers was recruited by Clemson, Wichita State, UTEP and Tulane among others before selecting Nebraska. Rivers has not declared a major at Nebraska.