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Illinois adding Drake guard Rayvonte Rice

Associated Press Published: May 1, 2012

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois basketball coach John Groce (GROHS) says sophomore guard and Champaign native Rayvonte Rice will transfer to Illinois from Drake at the end of the semester.

Rice led Drake with 16.8 points a game last season and averaged 5.8 rebounds. Under NCAA rules for transfers he will have to sit out next season.

Groce called Rice an impact player and a natural scorer. The first-year Illinois coach also praised Rice's aggressiveness for the Bulldogs (18-6, 9-9 Missouri Valley).

While Rice won't be able to help for a year, the Illini lacked shooters and ball-handlers during the 17-15 season that cost Bruce Weber his job and brought Groce from Ohio.

Illinois this week also added another guard. Mike LaTulip of Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect will be a preferred walk-on.