Last time Glen Rice Jr. was in the D-League, he was on cloud nine, hoisting up an MVP and Championship trophy after leading the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to their second title since 2009. Now, he's here for a different reason: On assignment from the Washington Wizards to rehabilitate his fractured right wrist, which he received surgery on just before Christmas.
Upon being cleared to resume basketball activities last week, the Wizards sent Rice Jr. to Iowa to play for their affiliate, the Energy. In his first game, he struggled. While he finished with a double-double - 16 points and 11 rebounds - he shot just 6-for-18 from the field and missed all four of his attempts from deep. In his second game, he started to play more like the Glen Rice Jr. we saw last season, putting together another double-double, this time on better shooting numbers. And in his third game, which took place in Erie last night, he had his best game to date, pouring in 29 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field and 6-for-10 from three point range. He failed to continue his streak of consecutive double-doubles, but made up for it by padding the stats, finishing with seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. He also led the team with the best plus/minus (+9). Had it not been for a last second lay-up by Lewis Jackson off of a broken play, the Energy would've walked out of Erie with their third win in three days, but it wasn't meant to be. The Energy are now 16-9 on the season, good enough for the third best record in the D-League.
As for Glen Rice Jr., he is now averaging 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.7 blocks and 2.0 steals per contest with the Energy. While he got off to a slow start from beyond the arc, his hot shooting last night has boosted his three-point percentage to a respectable .375.
When the Wizards announced that Rice Jr. was heading to Iowa, head coach Randy Wittman was clear that his assignment wasn't a demotion, yet an opportunity to shake off the rust he had built up since undergoing surgery on his shooting hand. With the Wizards playing 17 games in 31 days, there simply wasn't a lot of time for him to get the reps needed to regain his shooting touch, which is why the D-League was the place for him to get it back together. Wittman also said that the former Yellow Jacket wouldn't be in Iowa for very long and could even re-join the Wizards during their road trip, which ends on Wednesday when they face the Clippers.
Glen Rice Jr.'s Highlights