From the start of the college basketball season in November 2013 until mid January of 2014, Rayvonte Rice was the leading scorer in the Big Ten last season. However, the season went rapidly downhill for both him and his Illinois Fighting Illini in their visit to Northwestern.
An adductor strain slowed Rice down and his production during the back half of that season never matched the numbers he put up in the beginning of the year. I bring this up because January of 2014 was likely when Rice’s NBA Draft stock hit it’s “all time high.”
That doesn’t mean that he was actually considered a legitimate NBA prospect heading into that fateful day at Welsh-Ryan Arena. It just means that he was probably playing his best ball at that current time. Although his senior season in Champaign had some impressive moments as well. There were long stretches in which the two guard essentially carried the Illini.
Rayvonte Rice is an extreme long shot to make an NBA roster, but he’ll begin the journey as a member of the Chicago Bulls Summer League team on July 11 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rice was officially named to the Bulls Summer League roster today. Because he’s so under-sized to be a NBA two, and lacks the overall skill set to play the one, Rice’s chances of actually making the Bulls 2015-16 roster are extremely low.
He wasn’t considered a pro prospect at all come NBA draft time, and his suspension during his senior year obviously hurt his stock somewhat. Still, Rice was a very dynamic player, and he has to be considered one of the better Big Ten basketball players never to have played in a NCAA Tournament.
The Bulls full summer league roster is listed below:
Vander Blue G 6-4 200
Doug McDermott F 6-8 225
Bobby Portis F 6-11 246
Cristiano Felicio F/C 6-9 240
Diante Garrett G 6-4 190
Amere May G 6-3 185
Ramon Galloway G 6-3
Rayvonte Rice G 6-4 230
Tyrus McGee G 6-2 205
Darrell Williams F 6-8 245
Cameron Bairstow F 6-9 250
T.J. Price G 6-4 223
After the tilt with the T’Wolves, the summer edition of the Bulls will face Toronto the next day. Then they’ll take on the Brooklyn Nets on July 14th. Rayvonte Rice will wear his familiar jersey #24 in summer league; and hopefully, impress the team enough that he can earn his way into Bulls training camp in the fall.
Rayvonte Rice, in his own words, from last Big Ten Media Day. Podcast of our exclusive conversation with Rice below:
Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous sports talk radio stations all across the country.
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