Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Happy birthday, Rayvonte Rice

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Happy birthday, Rayvonte Rice

Rayvonte Rice, who celebrates his 22nd birthday Monday, had a fabulous first season as an Illini in 2013-14. Starting all 35 games last season, he topped Illinois in scoring with an average of 15.9 points per game, including a total of 10 games of 20 points or more. The Champaign native has a history of being a prolific scorer. At Centennial High School, Rice averaged 16.8 ppg as a junior in 2009 and 23.9 ppg as a senior. He ended his prep career as the all-time leading scorer in Champaign-Urbana history, tallying 1,810 points. As a rookie at Drake, he set the Bulldogs’ freshman scoring record with 428 points (13.8 ppg), then followed that effort up with a team-leading 16.8 average as a sophomore. As impressive as Rice’s initial season was at Illinois, it only ranks eighth in the history of Illini first-season performances in terms of scoring average:

Illini First-Season Scoring Average Leaders
POINTS PER GAME    NAME, YEARS
20.478      Dave Scholz, 1966-67
18.625     Jeff Dawson, 1972-73
16.750    Dave Downey, 1960-61
16.565    Nick Weatherspoon, 1970-71
16.417    Greg Jackson, 1968-69
15.928    Kiwane Garris, 1993-94
15.909    Nick Anderson, 1987-88
15.857     Rayvonte Rice, 2013-14
15.636    Kenny Battle, 1987-88
15.438     Cory Bradford, 1998-99

Illini birthdays
Sunday: Susan Blauser, basketball (37)
Monday: Zach Goren, gymnastics (28)
Tuesday: Bob Quinn, football (64)
Wednesday: Joe Smalzer, football (61)
Thursday: Antoineo Harris, football (35)
Friday: Chip Castello, golf (62)
Saturday: Mark Jones, football (53)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on
Twitter @B1GLLL and on Facebook at Big Ten Legends, Lists & Lore

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