Illinois lands Drake transfer (and Champaign native) Rayvonte Rice

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New Illinois coach John Groce landed a player who’ll be awfully familiar to the Champaign fans.

Former Drake star Rayvonte Rice will transfer to the Illini, multiple sites reported Wednesday. The Champaign (Ill.) native wasn’t a highly sought-after recruit in high school – Illinois didn’t offer him a scholarship, but neither did any other Big Ten school or BCS program aside from Oregon State – but after averaging 16.5 points and 5.7 rebounds a game last season, he’ll contend for a starting spot right away when he becomes eligible starting in the 2013-14 season.

But again, Rice’s exploits won’t be a surprise to the locals.

He’s the leading scorer in Champaign-Urbana boys history (1,810) and averaged 23.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals as a senior at Centennial. The 6-4 guard was the third-leading scorer in the Missouri Valley this season.

He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

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