February 2011 Archives
The Rice Owls track and field teams compete this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 25-26) at the Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championship at the University of Houston's Yeoman Fieldhouse.
Competition begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first events in the pentathlon and heptathlon. Field event competition begins at 3 p.m. with the men's weight throw. The men's 5000m final begins at 5 p.m. and the remaining events begin at 6 p.m. Competition resumes on Saturday morning (11 a.m.) for the heptathlon, 1 p.m. field events, and at 3 p.m. for running event finals.
Admission to the two-day event is free for students who attend a Conference USA member institution. An adult all-session pass is $25 while a youth all-session pass is $15. Per day tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth.
There are only three schools in the nation that have a men's and women's basketball player each averaging a double-double. Rice is one of those schools!
Jessica Kuster, 13.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg
Arsalan Kazemi, 15.9 ppg, 11.6 rpg
Ashar Harris, 14.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg
Kenneth Faried, 17.3 ppg, 14.2 rpg
Jantel Lavender, 22.6 ppg, 10.9 rpg
Jared Sullinger, 18.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg
Rice junior third baseman Anthony Rendon
is on the up-coming cover of Baseball America
(Feb. 21 - Mar. 6). A sub-headline on the cover refers to Rendon as a "stud-defender." In its listing of the 2011 Preseason All-America team, B.A. said the Owls' slugger is the "best hitter" and has the "best power."
The Owls are ranked 18th in the publication's Top 25. Rice opens the season Friday (Feb. 18) against No. 13 Stanford at 4:30 pm at Reckling Park.
The Rice women's basketball team hosts UTEP on Thursday at 8 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse. This game
is Rice's Pink Zone game as the Women's Basketball Coaching Association
is committed to raising breast cancer awareness and funding. Everyone
who wears pink to Thursday's game vs. UTEP receives FREE ADMISSION to the game.
It is also being broadcasted live on CBS College. The Owls are 15-10 overall and 7-4 in Conference USA and are tied for second place in the standings. The Miners are 13-10 and 5-6 in C-USA action.
The Rice Owls track and field teams compete on Saturday, February 12 at the Texas A&M Challenge Presented By Polytan in College Station. Action takes place at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
Fans can watch the action via: http://www.aggieathletics.com/allaccess<br>/?media=228190
Also, live results can found found at: http://www.flashresults.com/2011_Meets/indoor/02-12-TAMUChallenge/
The Rice athletics family is saddened to learn of the passing of one of its own.
Owl basketball great Tommy McGhee died Wednesday morning in an automobile accident in Peachtree City, Ga. McGhee, originally from Pontiac, Michigan, (Central H.S.) wore number 20 and lettered for Rice from 1993 to 1996.
Tommy's head coach during his Rice playing days, Willis Wilson, remembers McGhee as an exceptional human being.
"Tommy was a special player but even more, a special person," states Wilson. "He was a part of my family, a son to my wife, Vicki and me; one we were so very proud to have in our lives.
"A delight to coach and to be around, Tommy was a great friend and teammate to those he played ball with at Rice. He was a tenacious competitor and one of Rice's all time greatest shooters. A life gone too soon, those who knew him and loved him will miss him dearly."
McGhee was a first team All-Southwest Conference selection in 1996, when he averaged 20.5 points per game (second in the SWC), while leading the league in free throw percentage (82 percent) and in three-point field goal percentage (45 percent).
One of Tommy's finest moments came in Austin when the Owls led wire-to-wire in defeating Texas 80-69 in the 1996 season. In that contest, McGhee, a left-hander, poured in 35 points including six of seven three-pointers. He earned the Billy Wohn Award in 1996, as the team's MVP and concluded his career with 1,154 points.
Rice's hearts and prayers go out to the McGhee family.
The ideal situation for sports scheduling would be to have a schedule that is printed and announced one time -- and have it be set in stone the rest of the year. The fine print, however, says schedules are "subject to change."
Rice baseball has already had a few changes to its 2011 schedule from some earlier listings, including a home game at Reckling Park. Here are three recent changes to note. All start times listed are Central Time.Feb. 23
road game at Texas State now 5 pmApr. 2
home game vs. Marshall now 1 pmApr. 10
road game at East Carolina now 9:30 am
The Rice baseball team's 2011 schedule is available on-line here
A more printer-friendly pdf version of the schedule is available here.
Click on the above link to view images from the Rice vs. SMU women's basketball game on Sunday, February 6, 2011, inside Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls won the contest 69-60 as Jessica Kuster posted 22 points and 17 rebounds to lead Rice.
It helps to be on a four-game winning streak. The Omni Rankings (
http://www.omnirankings.com/wcb.html), an independent fan site devoting equitable attention to all Division I basketball, as well as football teams, has recognized the Rice Owls women's basketball team as one of its "Teams on the Rise."
The Owls are now 14-9 overall and 6-3 in Conference USA, tied for second with Memphis (17-6, 6-3).
Also, according to the latest (Feb. 7) NCAA RPI rankings the Owls are now 135, up 12 spots from last week's rating of 147 (http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/basketball-women/d1).
The last time that Rice won four games in a row was last season when it won the last four non-conference games of the season Dec. 28-Jan.2 over Northwestern State, Hofstra, at George Washington, and vs. UTSA. The last time that the Owls won four straight C-USA games came in the 2008 season with wins over Tulsa (Feb. 23), Marshall (Feb. 28), East Carolina (March 1), and vs. East Carolina in the C-USA tournament first round. Rice last won four regular season C-USA games in 2007 (Houston, SMU, Tulsa, and UTEP).
The impending winter storm that is expected to hit Houston over the next 24 hours has cause the Rice men's track team to shuffle their plans for this weekend.
Jon Warren had planned on sending a16-man contingent to the Frank Sevigne Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska this weekend, but that lineup was cut to five after Continental cancelled a large number of flights from Thursday afternoon through Friday at noon. Five Owls (Donte Moore, Benjamin Pressley, Clayton Chaney, Justin Gross, Connor Hayes) who were originally scheduled to fly out on Thursday will represent Rice at the meet, but Warren will attempt to shuffle things and get the remaining 11 team members entered into a competition at the University of Houston.
In addition to the five members of the men's team, Ari Ince and Cleona Miller will also travel to Lincoln to compete in the pole vault. Women's track teammate Allison Pye will also be on the road this weekend. She will compete at Notre Dame's Mayo Invitational.
Andrew Reue's paperwork is in and the 2011 Owls Football recruiting class is now complete.
Canadian defensive tackle Christian Covington is now officially a Rice Owl. He's the seventh Canadian product to sign with the Owls in the last five years. Owls also have another Canadian-born player, who played his prep football in the states. Can you name him?
Rice legacy Ross Winship paperwork has arrived. His grandfather, Bob Winship, lettered for the Owls in 1949-50, while his cousin, Jason, earned four letters for the Owls from 1993-93. He earned All WAC Academic honors as a senior and won the Glanville Award as the Owl which is awarded annually to the Rice football player who has achieved excellence in athletics, academics and intergrity.
Grant Peterson wound up signing his National Letter of Intent by candlelight this morning, due to a power outage in the Austin area thanks to the winter storm.
Julius White is the Gold Medalist for the 2011 class, with his FAX being the first to arrive at the football office this morning
JJ Walker, Lovett Gibson and John Poehlmann are in
Darrell Patterson on his recruiting experience, and on one that got away from him on Signing Day:
My parents were very involved in my recruiting process. That's because I had an uncle (Gerald Patterson) who had been the first running back in the state to rush for 4,000 yards in 1967, but his college choice (Nevada) turned out to not be a good one. He did not have a lot of guidance in the process, and he wound up coming home pretty quickly. With my parents, local connections were important when looking at potential schools. I had six visits, and they let me pick three. I chose to visit Michigan, Maryland and Virginia Tech. They had me visit Tulane, SMU and TCU. The father of the coach from TCU who recruited me (John Somsky) worked with my father in the steel mill, so he had that connection I mentioned. There was not any kind of Signing Day drama. I was signed, sealed and delivered to TCU, so he came by and picked up the papers.
When I was coaching at Stanford, I had a commitment from Chase Beeler. He was from Jenks, Oklahoma and his mother really wanted him to stay home and go to OU. The night before Signing Day, I started getting text messages from his mother, saying that we had not been truthful and misled him and he needed to stay home. Chase had scored a 34 on his ACT and wanted to go to Stanford for more than just football. But I could see where it was going, and it wasn't a surprise that the FAX never came in. Long story short, one year later after I had left, he wound up transferring to Stanford and was a starter and All American candidate for them this year. He's a great kid and we still keep in touch, just from the relationship we developed during recruiting.
Driphus Jackson, Justin Booth, Grant Peterson and Caleb Williams are in hand.
Chuck Driesbach on the crazy times when coaches were in recruits homes on signing day to pick up Letters of Intent in person:
I was at Kansas State and we were recruiting a player from East St. Louis. It was the night before Signing Day and there was a blizzard going on. I was waiting in my car while a coach from Oklahoma State was visiting with the player. He finally came out about 10:30 or so, then I went in. I stayed until 2 in the morning and left feeling like he was ours. Both the coach from Oklahoma State and I went to another home first that morning to sign another player, and when we got to this player's house, he had just signed with Memphis. Memphis had not even been recruiting him, and when asked the player how this happened, he said "They said they'd make me an All American". Just another day on the recruiting trail....
No doubt a similar story around the country, but the winter storm is wrecking havoc on the Signing Day process.
Between school closings and power outages, some recruits are scrambling for backup plans to get those NLIs on the FAX machine.
So far, nine have come in: Nick Elder, Miles Lee, Michael Sam, Jaylon Finner, Julius White, Malcom Hill, Matt Wofford, Edwin Hopper and Austin Williams.
Happy Signing Day to one and all...
We are live from the Rice Football Office as the FAX machine enjoys it's day in the national spotlight.
Will be posting updates as the day rolls along. Be sure to tune in to the press conference at 2:30 on All Access.