Year: Junior. Rice will not play for Illinois until next season. After he sits out for a year, he will have 2 more years of eligibility
Previous School: Drake
Jersey #: 24
Next on our list of new guys on the basketball team is Rayvonte Rice, who is transferring to Illinois after spending two years at Drake. You won’t actually see him on the court this season, as he has to sit out due to transfer rules. Sam McLaurin, on the other hand, does not have to wait because he graduated from Coastal Carolina, and is heading to Illinois as a grad student.
Rice will be able to play for the Illini starting next season, and then the 6-foot-4, 240-pound guard will then have two years of eligibility with Illinois.
A native of Champaign, Rice was the first official recruit that John Groce brought into the program. He averaged 16.5 points and 5.7 rebounds last season for Drake, and overall in his career there totaled 983 points, 339 rebounds, 103 assists and 105 steals. He played in 64 career games at Drake, and started 62 times. Rice also set the Drake freshman scoring record with 428 points (13.8 ppg)
Rice will be wearing jersey number 24 when he plays next season, and since that’s my favorite number I’m going to keep an eye on this guy. Also, we’re from the same hometown. He’ll be 21 July 14th next year, so that means he’ll be of drinking age once he can officially play for the team.
What you may not know about Rice is that he is cousins with Illini football star Mikel Leshoure, who holds the Illini Football single-game (330 yards) and single-season (1,697 yards) rushing records and single-season rushing touchdowns (17) record. Leshoure is now a running back with the Detroit Lions.
Check out some Rayvonte Rice high school highlights below, because I couldn’t seem to find much from when he was at Drake. Still exciting nonetheless.