Rayvonte Rice was perhaps the best player for the Drake Bulldogs as a sophomore last year: he led the team in scoring (16.8 ppg) and was second in rebounding (5.8 rpg). He was a 2nd team All-Missouri Valley selection and previously was named to the conference’s All-Freshman team – he averaged 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in his first year.
But, after the Bulldogs finished 18-16 overall and just 9-9 in Valley play, Rice decided that it was time to look for a more high-profile team. Meanwhile, back in his hometown of Champaign, Illinois, the Fighting Illini replaced the coach that failed to recruit Rice out of high school. With new head coach John Groce at the helm at Illinois, the path was cleared for Rice to return home for his final two years of eligibility. (more…)