The 2019-2020 Rice basketball season is fast approaching. Here’s a rundown of the Owls’ squad which looks to take a step forward this coming season.
You’ll hear the word consistency thrown around a lot at Tudor Fieldhouse this season. This new incarnation of Rice basketball will look to fix that nagging thorn from a year ago and take the next step in their quest for Conference USA Basketball supremacy.
The group tasked with taking that next step is a year wiser and a year more experienced. Ako Adams and Chis Mullins will be the heartbeat, with weapons like Trey Murphy to pick teams apart from long range and Robert Martin to patrol the paint. The bench is deep and should be more action this season. Here’s a bit more on the coach, the players, the roster, and what to expect from this team in 2019 and beyond.
The Coach – Scott Pera
This upcoming season will be the third for Scott Pera as the head coach of Rice basketball and his sixth season at South Main — Pera was an assistant with the Owls from 2014 to 2017 before being promoted to the head chair prior to the 2017-2018 season.
Pera’s first season was a reboot as the team worked to rebuild a roster. He went from 7-24 that year to 13-19 last year improving from 4-14 in Conference USA play to 8-10 this past season. Now he’ll be tasked with taking one more step with a roster which returns most of its key players, with the exception of departed senior Jack Williams and transferee Quentin Millora-Brown.
Last Season Snapshot
After weathering a fairly challenging nonconference slate which included games at Houston, BYU and Wichita State, the Owls were more or less a .500 club the rest of the way. Rice was fourth in the conference in scoring (74.0 points per game) but 12th in scoring defense (77.5).
The Owls relied on the third-best clip from three-point range among C-USA teams (34.8 percent) but did not do a good job protecting the basketball. Their -2.34 turnover margin ranked 11th in the conference. Much of the turnover issues seemed to stem from young players learning on the job, something Rice hopes to improve with a full year of experience under the belts of their most important contributors.
Rice Basketball Marquee Games and Key Dates
Oct. 31, 2019 – Exhibition vs St Edwards
Nov. 5, 2019 – Season opener at Arkansas
Nov. 9, 2019 – Home opener vs Penn
Nov. 19, 2019 – Owls host Houston at Tudor Fieldhouse
Nov. 22, 2019 – 2019 Islands of the Bahamas Showcase
Jan. 2, 2020 – Conference USA opener at Marshall
Jan. 9, 2020 – Conference USA home opener vs FAU
Feb. 22, 2020 – Conference USA bonus play begins
You can find the complete 2019-2020 Rice basketball schedule here.
|Trey Murphy III||20.6||8.4||2.6||0.7||0.5||0.5|
The Returning Players
No. 0 – Payton Moore, Guard (So.)
6-foot-4, 205 pounds
Moore was a rotation player for the Owls last season who averaged 11 minutes per game. He appeared in all but one contest, doing well on the glass when he was on the court, averaging a little more than three rebounds per appearance.
No. 1 – Josh Parrish, Guard (R-Jr.)
6-foot-4, 215 pounds
Parrish alternated between being the team’s sixth man and a starting role last season. He leads all returning players in field goal percentage (.504) and was accurate from an impressive 61.3 percent of his two-point shots. His role could increase this season considering the minutes vacated by Jack Williams.
No. 2 – Trey Murphy III, Guard (So.)
6-foot-8, 200 pounds
The Owls are excited about the growth of sophomore sharpshooter Trey Murphy. He attempted and made at least one three-point shot in 29 of 32 games, knocking down three or more on 12 separate occasions including five of seven at home against UAB last January.
No. 3 – Ako Adams, Guard (Sr.)
6-foot-3, 175 pounds
A senior leader for this relatively young team, Ako Adams is going to be one of the two players trusted to handle the ball on the majority of Rice possessions. Adams is a career .359 three point shooter who started to heat up during conference play last year where he hit 40 percent of his shots from distance. He finished one shy of Chris Mullins for the team lead in assists.
No. 5 – Addison Owen, Guard (Sr.)
6-foot-5, 195 pounds
Owen made two appearances off the bench for Rice last season and has appeared in nine games during his three-year career with the Owls. He was one of two players on the team named to the NABC Honors Court which honors academic achievements for student athletes. He is expected to hold a similarly limited role this coming season.
No. 10 – Robert Martin, Forward (Sr.)
6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Coach Pera has identified Martin as a key leader on the team alongside Ako Adams. Although Martin only started one game last season, his presence was felt in almost every contest. He led the team in total scoring. His 25.6 minutes played per game were third-most among returning players and he topped all returning Owls with 197 rebounds (4.8 per game).
No. 23 – Drew Peterson, Guard/Forward (So.)
6-foot-8, 185 pounds
Peterson was another player who saw his time wax back and forth between starter and key reserve last season. No matter the role, he served as a rebound presence for the Owls when he was on the court. He grabbed 106 boards and had a keen eye on what to do with the ball when he got it in his hands, racking up 49 assists along the way.
No. 24 – Chris Mullins, Guard (So.)
6-foot-3, 190 pounds
The complement to Ako Adams, Mullins’ role grew significantly as last season progressed. Mullins was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team, just the sixth Rice player to ever receive that designation. He’s an excellent facilitator and someone the Owls will rely on to coordinate their efforts on the offensive side of the court this season.
No. 35 – Tim Harrison, Forward (Sr.)
6-foot-8, 220 pounds
Harrison appeared in 14 games last season, averaging just shy of a point per game. Alongside Addison Owen, Harrison was also named to the NABC Honors Court. He’ll continue to be a reserve player for this team going forward
The New Additions
No. 13 – Tommy McCarthy, Guard (Gr.)
6-foot-1, 175 pounds
Joining the Owls by way of Harvard, McCarthy hopes to be the next grad transfer to make a name for himself at South Main. Jack Williams, who came to Rice from Pacific, became a fixture in the Owls’ lineup in his lone season at Rice. Williams started every game, averaging 9.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. McCarthy started 26 games in three healthy seasons with the Crimson, highlighted by a strong freshman season in which he averaged 24.8 minutes and 8.8 points per game.
No. 15 – Max Fiedler, Forward (Fr.)
6-foot-10, 235 pounds
The tallest man on the roster eligible to play this season, Fiedler committed to the Owls in the fall. With Quentin Millora-Brown transferring to Vanderbilt in the offseason, Fiedler could carve out a role of some sort based on his athletic profile alone.
No. 20 – Zach Crisler, Forward (Fr.)
6-foot-9, 215 pounds
Another member of the 2019 signing class, Crisler is an intriguing stretch forward who could wear a number of hats for the Owls. Rice beat out prominent programs like Penn State and TCU to secure his services. Crisler is continuing to get bigger and stronger, both aspects which will help him find a way to contribute.
No. 4 – Quincy Olivari, Guard (Fr.)
6-foot-2, 190 pounds
Olivari, Crisler and Fiedler were all Top 500 recruits with Olivari checking in nearest the top of the ranks as the No. 430 prospect in the nation and the N0. 23 player in the state of Georgia. This combo guard is going to help Rice push the pace on both ends and is dangerous when he does decide to spot up and shoot.
No. 12 – Ben Moffat, Forward (Fr.)
6-foot-8, 225 pounds
Moffat is a priority walk-on excited for his opportunity to be a part of the team. “Every player has to work hard,” he says, “but as a walk-on, I’ll need to work harder than anybody else. I need to be the first one at practice and the last one to leave, and that’s something I’m prepared to do.”
No. 14 – Reed Myers, Guard (Fr.)
6-foot-0, 180 pounds
A First Team 2A All-State selection and Metro Region First Team Offensive Player of the Year out of Scottsdale Christian Academy in Arizona, Myers is going to bring some offensive punch to the team. Myers excelled at a small school and will be ready to take on a new challenge with the Owls this season.
Malik Ondigo, Forward (Jr.)
6-foot-10, 215 pounds
Ondigo signed with the Owls in June after spending the last two seasons at Texas Tech. He appeared in 14 games as a freshman, setting season highs in points (six) and rebounds (four) against Iowa State. He had an increased role in 2018, playing in 18 games for the Red Raiders who advanced to the Final Four and the National Championship Game. His best outing last year came against Mississippi Valley State where he scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds.