Illinois Fighting Illini's Rayvonte Rice Could Be the Most Underrated Player In the Big Ten

By Trevor Lowry
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini are not getting a whole lot of hype for the 2013-14 college basketball season, but they do have a couple of great players. One of them is Tracy Abrams and the other is Rayvonte Rice. Both could have great seasons, but it is Rice who could be the most underrated player in the Big 10.

Rice previously played for Drake, but will be taking his talents to the Big Ten in the upcoming season. The MVC is nowhere near as talented as the Big 10 and Rice will have some question marks as a result.

Rice has played against powerhouse conference teams before, though, and he has had a lot of success.

In the 2011-12 season, Rice scored 18 points against Iowa State, 12 against Ole Miss, 12 against Virginia and 23 against Iowa. None of those teams are on the level of Duke or Kentucky, but it is not like Illinois will be playing teams of that quality on a nightly basis. Rice has also had his fair share of points against Creighton and Wichita State.

The Bluejays now play in the Big East and the Shockers made the Final Four last season.

Rice averaged 16.8 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game in the 2011-12 season. He needs to work on his three-point shot some, but he still has the talent to lead the Fighting Illini in scoring.

Just give it some time and Rice will show everyone how great he is. He may be underrated going into the 2013-14 season, but he won’t be for long.

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