Sophomore guard Rayvonte Rice decides to leave Drake

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Sophomore guard Rayvonte Rice has decided to leave Drake, according to the Des Moines Register.

Rice, who averaged 16.8 points per game for the Bulldogs last seasons, will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2012-13 season per NCAA transfer rules.

“I just had some thoughts over the past couple of weeks. Just talking to my mom, and I felt like if I was going to do this, now was the time,” Rice told the Register.

Thoughts that Rice would leave the program hounded him from the day he set foot on the Drake campus, but after defying those rumors for two years the Champaign, Ill. native has decided that it’s best for him to move on.

Drake head coach Mark Phelps said that he was both disappointed and surprised by Rice’s decision, one that he had no idea was coming when informed on Wednesday.

Rice was one of two Second Team All-Missouri Valley players at Drake last season, along with Ben Simons.

Simons returns for his senior season, and the development of guards Jeremy Jeffers and Karl Madison will be important if Drake is to improve on their 18-16 2011-12 record.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.