Men’s Basketball Opens C-USA Home Slate against Middle Tennessee

Jan. 4, 2017

By: Tim Andrzejewski (

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The Last Meeting
Middle Tennessee87
January 23, 2016
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Guercy's 20 Points Not Enough as Rice Falls at Middle Tennessee
A four-minute, 17-0 Middle Tennessee run turned a two-point lead into a 15-point deficit that Rice could not get itself out of as the Owls fell, 87-73, Saturday night at the Murphy Center.

HOUSTON — Rice begins its home conference schedule this Thursday, Jan. 5, when it hosts Middle Tennessee. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast by beIN Sports.

Scouting Rice
• Rice enters Thursday night’s game with an 11-4 record, 1-1 in Conference USA. The Owls picked up their first conference victory on Monday, defeating Charlotte, 89-70.
• Redshirt junior guard/forward Egor Koulechov is averaging 18.2 points, good for fourth-place in C-USA. He leads Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 58.7% from beyond the arc. The Volgograd, Russia native is also fourth in three-point field goals made (2.5), seventh in rebounding (7.6) and ninth in field goal percentage (.537) and free throw percentage (.814).
• Sophomore guard Marcus Evans is fifth in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.0 points per game. He is also fourth in the league in assists (5.0).
• Redshirt junior guard Marcus Jackson is averaging 13.7 points, 3.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He is fifth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2).
• Sophomore guard Connor Cashaw is averaging 8.7 points and is second on the team with 5.1 rebounds.
• The Owls are second in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 83.3 points per game while allowing 73.5.
• Rice leads the league in both field goal percentage (48.6%) and three-point field goal percentage (39.3%) while allowing 43.4% from the floor and 33.2% from three.
• The Owls are also second in the league with 9.1 three-pointers made per game.
• Head coach Mike Rhoades is in his third season at the helm of the Rice basketball program. He owns a 35-44 (.443) record on South Main and a 232-120 (.659) record in 12 years as a head coach.

Scouting Middle Tennessee
• Middle Tennessee enters Thursday night’s contest with an 11-3 record, 1-0 in Conference USA. The Blue Raiders snapped a two-game losing streak on Saturday, defeating UAB, 60-49, in their league opener.
• Senior forward JaCorey Williams leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.4 points per game, which is sixth in C-USA. He is eighth in the league in field goal percentage (.538) and ninth in rebounding (7.1).
• Junior guard Giddy Potts is 10th in the league in scoring with 15.9 points. He is also third in steals (1.7), sixth in three-pointers made per game (2.4) and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.418).
• Senior forward Reggie Upshaw is averaging 15.4 points per game and is 10th in the conference in rebounding (6.6). He is also fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0), fifth in steals (1.6), sixth in field goal percentage (.552) and ninth in minutes played (32.7).
• Middle Tennessee is scoring 73.3 points per game while allowing just 64.4.
• The Blue Raiders are connecting on 48.0% from the field and 37.4% from three. They are allowing 42.1% from the floor and 32.2% from three.
• MT is also second in the league in steals (7.4).
• Head coach Kermit Davis is in his 15th season at the helm of the Middle Tennessee men’s basketball program where he owns a 287-178 (.617) record. In 22 years as a head coach, Davis is 424-253 (.626).

Series History
• Rice and Middle Tennessee will meet for the seventh time.
• MT holds a 4-2 record in the series. In Houston, Rice leads 2-1.
• Middle Tennessee won the first two games of the series but the teams have split the last four.
• Last year, the Owls fell 87-73 in Murfreesboro
• Head coach Mike Rhoades is 1-1 against Middle Tennessee.

Next Up
• Rice continues its homestand this Saturday, Jan. 7, when it hosts UAB. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be live-streamed at




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