Sports

Hot Rice keeps the Hurricanes cooking

Darius Rice finds it difficult to go unnoticed on and off the court.
Not only does he share the last name of NFL legend, Jerry Rice, but he also wears red Jordan’s as opposed to the teams’ choice of green shoes.
More notably, however, is the fact that Rice is an All-America candidate and an ominous force of the Hurricane men’s basketball team for the second consecutive season.
He is also one of 30 preseason nominees for the 2001-02 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.
At a towering 6-10, the sophomore starter ironically excels at the small forward position. He is explosive all over the court, but outside shots are his specialty. This season Rice is one of the Big East’s top three-point shooters.
“Rice obviously contributes to the offensive effort, averaging an impressive 15.2 points per game, but it doesn’t stop there. He is really expanding his game and becoming a very well-rounded player,” UM coach Perry Clark said.
This type of talent, according to Rice, didn’t come naturally with his adolescent growth spurt. Instead he perfected his technique by practicing with thousands of shots per day.
“I would just shoot- in the paint, out of the paint- all day long. Repetition helped me reach this level. You know how they say ‘practice makes perfect’, well it’s true,” said Rice.
His height, on the other hand, happens to be a natural advantage.
“I appreciate my height the most on defense. When I guard other players it’s easier for me to get in their faces. I guess I am a step ahead,” said Rice.
He leads the team in scoring and three-point field goal percentage and is also ranked second in rebounding.
Against Villanova, Rice posted his second-straight 30-point game and had 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal.
As for the loss to Boston College, Rice is over it. He was held to 16 points and went 1-for-9 from 3-point range. Focusing on the next challenge en route to the Final Four is more important.
This Saturday the Hurricanes will face Caron Butler and the UConn Huskies, who are 14-3 overall and 6-0 in the Big East. In last month’s match-up, the ‘Canes came up short 75-76.
“The UConn game is a huge threat to us. Butler and I will be going head to head,” said Rice. “We can’t be satisfied with an 18-3 record, but it’s also a very long season. We have the opportunity to pick up the rest of our games and make it to the postseason,” Rice said.

February 1, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.