Rice continues to add talent under head coach Mike Rhoades as three-star point guard Ako Adams committed in the Class of 2016. With three three-star prospects in 2015 and two talented commitments in 2016, the Owls are getting a fair amount of talent into the program and could be in very good shape if things go properly in a few years.
The 6-foot-2 Adams hails from Arlington, Virginia and attends Bishop O’Connell High School. Joining Adams in the Class of 2016 is four-star shooting guard Josh Hall. The 2015 class for Rice also has pledges from three-star prospects in guard Marcus Evans and shooting guard Connor Cashaw.
So the program has a lot of backcourt depth coming in the next two classes and it can help Rhoades use a number of lineups and backcourt combinations.
In his first season as a member of the Rice program, 6-foot-6 freshman forward Maurice Rivers played in 11 games with averages of 3.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 17.8 minutes per contest. Prior to the team’s game against North Texas on Saturday, it was announced by the program that Rivers is no longer a member of the program and has been released from his scholarship.
“We wish Maurice and his family all the best as he moves forward,” first-year head coach Mike Rhoades said according to the program’s Twitter account.
The announcement of Rivers’ departure came six days after he played a season-high 30 minutes in the Owls’ 66-57 home loss to UTEP, a game in which he tallied two points, two rebounds and two blocked shots. With Rivers no longer a member of the team, Rice stayed with an eight-man rotation in their 66-63 home loss to North Texas.
Freshman Jeremy Jones, who’s played an average of 5.7 minutes in six games, played a season-high ten minutes and that may be the case for him moving forward as the Owls look to account for the departure of Rivers.
Rice guard Marcus Jackson is having a really nice season for the Owls in his sophomore year. On Saturday, in a Conference USA matchup with North Texas, Jackson heaved a shot from between the opposite free-throw line and 3-point line and banked in an incredible shot at the first-half buzzer.
Jackson finished with a team-high 22 points but the Owls ultimately fell to the Mean Green 66-63.