Coach John Groce landed his first recruiting victory as coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini today, as Rayvonte Rice is leaving Drake and coming home. The 6-4, 250-pound guard grew up in Champaign, Illinois and was the 2010 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year while playing for Champaign Centennial High School. Hopefully, this will help bring in this year’s Gatorade player of the year Jabari Parker.
Rice’s numbers with Drake: 16.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 1.9 SPG. He was the team’s leading scorer, but also shot just 24 percent from three-point range.
He’ll have to sit out this season, but will have two years of eligibility with the Illini. He will essentially take the roster spot vacated by de-committed point guard Michael Orris, from Crete-Monee. Orris was the only signee for the Illini from that November signing period. Hopefully, the addition of Rice will work out better than the last Illini guard transfer situation.
Sam Maniscalco started out strong, but injuries took their toll in midseason. Sam missed many games and was largely ineffective when he was in there during January and February. Rice picked Illinois over Xavier, the only other school he considered.
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