Rice Named Preseason First Team

Oct. 29, 2003

NEW YORK, N.Y. (hurricanesports.com) – University of Miami senior forward Darius Rice (Jackson, Miss.) was named to the 2003-04 preseason All-BIG EAST first-team by a vote of the league’s head coaches at BIG EAST Media Day in New York, N.Y.

Rice, a 2003 Preseason John Wooden Award candidate, has led the Hurricanes in scoring each of his first three seasons and last season averaged 18.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Last season Rice earned third team All-BIG EAST honors in 2002-03 and ranked among the conference leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point field goal percentage and three-point field goals made.

Rice was the Hurricanes’ “Mr. Clutch” last season connecting on three-pointers at the end of regulation to either win the game or send it overtime four times. His steal and three-point basket as time expired against Connecticut will long be remembered as one of the greatest individual plays in Miami history.

Rice is joined on the first-team by Hakim Warrick from Syracuse, Ryan Gomes from Providence, Chris Thomas from Notre Dame and Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor from Connecticut. Okafor was named the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year.

The Hurricanes were picked to finish 11th in the preseason coaches’ poll.

Miami returns seven lettermen, including three starters, from last season’s squad and welcome one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. Miami opens its exhibition season on Sunday, November 2 at 7 p.m. versus Nike Elite at the Convocation Center in Coral Gables, Fla. Admission is free.

The Hurricanes open its 18-game regular season home schedule against Lubbock Christian on November 21 as part of the Las Vegas Tournament. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. For season ticket information contact the Hurricane Ticket Office at 305-284-CANE in Dade, or 1-800-GO-CANES.

2003-04 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Darius Rice (Miami)
Emeka Okafor (Connecticut)
Ben Gordon (Connecticut)
Chris Thomas (Notre Dame)
Ryan Gomes (Providence)
Hakim Warrick (Syracuse)

2003-04 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Connecticut (13)
2. Syracuse (1)
3. Notre Dame
4. Pittsburgh
5. Providence
6. Seton Hall
7. Villanova
8. Boston College
9. West Virginia
10. St. John’s
11. Miami
12. Georgetown
13. Rutgers
14. Virginia Tech