Maureece Rice: D-League Player Profiles

Maureece Rice

Continuing my player profiles (because I know you love them), I'm going to take you through the short, sordid career of Maureece Rice.  Rice, a 6'1" 225 pound guard,  has the body-type of Khalid El-Amin and scoring prowess of Wilt Chamberlain.  Interesting, huh?

How he got here

Maureece Rice grew up a playground legend in North Philly, emulating the game of another Philadelphia star, Allen Iverson.  I can't find any sources to confirm this, but I believe he once said "North Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days."

When he was 10 or 11 years old, he dropped 40 in a city league game and people were impressed.  Once he grew up, he kept scoring in large amounts.  At Strawberry Mansion High School (doesn't that sound lovely?), he broke Wilt Chamberlain's Philadelphia High School all-time scoring record.  Of course he did it in four years while Chamberlain did it in three, but there aren't many people that can say they broke a Wilt Chamberlain scoring record, so I'm going to give him props.  He also crossed up LeBron James in high school, even though it was a 30ish-point loss.

Coming out of high school, his grades weren't so hot, so he enrolled in a prep school.  After getting his grades up to snuff, he enrolled at George Washington University, which is a hot-bed for future D-Leaguer's (Carl Elliott, JR Pinnock and Pops Mensah-Bonsu off the top of my head).  At George Washington, he came off the bench his first two seasons, being compared to Vinnie "Microwave" Johnson.

That's a compelling comparison, but not exactly something a 6'1" dude that's supposed to be a point guard should strive toward.  Nonetheless, he was named the A-10 Sixth Man of the Year.  His junior season was good (15.8 points and 43% from deep), before making the ill-fated decision to enter the NBA draft, and then withdraw.

His senior season, in a word, was a disaster.  he gave interviews saying he doesn't like interviews, left an Adidas camp because people said he was too selfish, and then was transitioned to point guard at the beginning of the season after an injury to Travis King.  He didn't like this role, he wasn't very good at this role, and after being suspended twice during the season, he was finally kicked off the team in March, after averaging just 9.2 points per game.

As what was undoubtedly a favor, Rice ended up on the Philadelphia 76ers preseason roster.  This didn't go so hot, however, and he was released, ending up being allocated to the Erie Bayhawks this season.  After the jump, lets see how his first year of professional basketball went!

This year in the D-League, the Bayhawks had the craziest makeup of a team I've seen in the D-League.  The offense was run through Erik Daniels, who is a small forward in the NBA, but apparently a center in the D-League.  Anyway, this led to Maureece Rice not really needing to be a true point guard, and thusly, not getting kicked off the team.

His first half of the season, he wasn't hitting his shots (42% from the field), which is what he's best at.  Thus, the Bayhawks struggled.  His second half of the season, though, is when he started showing that the kid with my least favorite spelling of the name more Maureece can play.  He shot 53% from the field in the second half of the season, upping his assist numbers as well.  I'm not sure what changed, but he played well in the second half of the season.

His best game was probably a victory over the Austin Toros in March, when he scored 26 points, grabbed eight boards and dished seven assists, shooting 10-of-16 from the field with DeMarcus Nelson and Squeaky Johnson defending him.  Granted, Nelson had a great game on offense as well, though Rice and Quincy Douby were defending, which doesn't exactly equate to any defensive prowess.

Overall Outlook

Dude can score.  As Jon L said in a post long ago, his shot is a little flat at times, but it is money.  He can also use his body to get to the rim, as his girth makes up for his height.

He's not a point guard.  He can be a third-string combo-guard, that can come in and score, but he's not a great distributor.  Regardless, I'm sure he'll make a Summer League team, and if a team needs a scoring point guard off the bench, Rice would be the best choice in the D-League.

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