JUCO guard Jake Lieppert has committed to Rice Basketball. The sharpshooting guard will give the Owls a scoring threat from deep next season.
Rice basketball has restocked the cupboard on the fly this spring. After losing several key pieces to graduation and the Transfer Portal, the Owls signed a host of important additions. Jake Lieppert, a guard from Pima Community College in Arizona, was one of five players announced by the program in recent weeks.
The Owls’ new addition dominated his peers at the junior college level. He capped off his first collegiate season as the ACCAC Freshman of the Year.
Lieppert averaged 23.7 points per game and led the nation with 125 made three pointers. Had he done it at Rice, his 41.7 percent three-point field goal percentage would have been the best on the team, edging Quincy Olivari’s 38.0 mark from distance. Bottom line: Lieppert can shoot.
At his best, Lieppert is a scorer with incredible range. None of the Owls’ returning players took more than 100 threes last season. Of those who took more than 60, roughly two attempts per game only Olivari shot better than 27.0 percent.
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The obvious role in combination with all that Rice has to offer helped ease Lieppert ‘s decision. Restrictions put in place alongside the coronavirus outbreak prevented him from taking any kind of visit to South Main during his recruitment process. Instead, he built and grew a relationship with head coach Scott Pera and the staff virtually.
Despite the unusual circumstances, Lieppert said Rice offered two important things: “high-level basketball and academics”. In person meetings or not, that wasn’t something he was going to pass up.
Lieppert will be eligible to play immediately. As long as he can bring his sharpshooting ability from Arizona to Texas, he should be a key component in the Owls’ rotation next season and beyond.