Tyrese Rice Getting Big Looks

For whatever reason, Tyrese Rice wasn't all that highly recruited - until recently. The talent has always been there, but now his academics are in place.

At one time, it was a combination of academics and size that made coaches question whether Tyrese Rice could play in a major conference.

After a stellar career in which the 6-foot, 180-pound L.C. Bird (Va.) senior scored 2,328 points (sixth-best in state history), the big boys are finally calling.

Maryland and Wake Forest are coming in Friday to take a look. Boston College is interested. East Carolina new coach Ricky Stokes and Virginia Tech are also in the mix and have offered.

Rice had taken visits to Tulane and East Tennessee State in the fall.

``I guess people questioned if I could play at the highest level," Rice said. "Plus, I wasn't an academic qualifier coming into the year."

``I wanted to wait," Rice said. "I didn't feel as comfortable at those schools and I had hoped."

Rice put his name on the national map with a 30-point, 7-assist effort in a loss to national power Oak Hill Academy and finished the season averaging 27 points and 6.6 assists per game. That helped earn him Richmond Times Dispatch Player of the Year honors.

He's an explosive lefty who can get to the basket and is also strong enough to finish in the paint. The academic situation is clear and, as long as Rice takes care of business this final semester, he'll be eligible to play as a freshman.

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