College Basketball

Kansas guard MJ Rice plans to enter NCAA transfer portal

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Kansas guard MJ Rice plans to enter NCAA transfer portal
USA Today Network

Kansas guard MJ Rice plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal, according to sources. The 6-foot-5 freshman guard averaged 2.2 points and 7.6 minutes per game through 23 games off the bench this past season. Rice also shot 40.8% from the field, 20% outside the arc, and 66.7% at the foul line with the Jayhawks.

For other advanced statistics, the North Carolina native recorded a player efficiency rating of 7.6, a true shooting percentage of 46.6%, and a usage percentage of 19.2%. While not the most proficient player in the Big 12 offensively, Rice still had a couple of notable games.

Upon further review of a few college basketball betting sites, since No. 1 Kansas lost 72-71 against No. 8 Arkansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, sportsbooks show No. 4 UConn and No. 5 San Diego State with the best odds to win the national championship.

In his NCAA debut on Nov. 10, Rice finished with 10 points, four boards, two assists, and one steal in Kansas’ 82-59 win over North Dakota State. The freshman guard shot 5-of-10 (50%) from the floor and missed two 3-pointers and free throws in 18 minutes off the bench.

Additionally, in Kansas’ 87-55 victory versus Texas Southern on Nov. 28, the guard scored a season-high 19 points in 22 minutes of action. Along with grabbing three boards, Rice shot 6-of-9 (66.7%) from the field, drained a pair of 3-pointers, and made five free throws.

Kansas guard MJ Rice plans to enter NCAA transfer portal, will join teammates Bobby Pettiford, Joseph Yesufu, Zach Clemence, and Cam Martin

Rice is the fifth Kansas player to enter the NCAA transfer portal, joining guards Bobby Pettiford and Joseph Yesufu and forwards Zach Clemence and Cam Martin. Assuming none of the said players withdraw their names from the portal, the Jayhawks now have three open scholarships for next season.

Kansas head coach Bill Self praised the freshman in October for improving at practices. “He is physically gifted,” said the two-time AP College Coach of the Year. “He doesn’t look 18 years old. And he looks like a guy who has been in the weight room two to three years. He is a pleaser. He wants to do right.

“Sometimes the effort to do right makes you think all the time. He’s not a reactor yet. And he’s a terrific young man. He’s going to be good. He wants to be patient. It’s hard for a young man to be patient when what we want is what we want now. He’s close to being in the position having the impact we want him to have.” Self will be busy recruiting for Kansas this offseason.

While in high school, MJ Rice was rated a 5-star recruit. The North Carolina native ranked No. 32 in the nation, No. 10 as a forward, and No. 4 in California. During his sophomore season at Durham Academy, Rice suffered an ACL injury. Following his sophomore year, the wing transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.

As a junior, Rice averaged 19.6 points per game. Before his senior year, the forward transferred to Prolific Prep in Napa, California. With the basketball academy, Rice averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 boards, and 2.3 assists. He was selected to play in the 2022 McDonald’s All-American Game. So, which program will the Kansas freshman transfer to next?

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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