Rice Named Preseason Candidate For Naismith Award

Nov. 6, 2003

Coral Gables, Fla. (hurricanesports.com) – University of Miami senior forward Darius Rice (Jackson, MS) has been named one of 30 preseason candidates for the 2003-04 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.

The Naismith Awards program, now in its 36th year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.

The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. Members of the board were asked to name top male and female players who are most likely to be in contention for the award.

A preseason 2003-04 All-BIG EAST first-team selection, Rice averaged a team-high 18.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.4 steals earning third-team All-BIG EAST and first-team All-District honors last season.

Rice ranked among the BIG EAST Conference leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point field goal percentage and three-point field goals made last season. Four times during the 2002-03 season he hit a three-point basket at the end of regulation to either win the game or send it to overtime.

Rice, who was named to the preseason Wooden Award list in August, is one of six BIG EAST players on the preseason Naismith list including Andre Barrett (Seton Hall), Ben Gordon (Connecticut), Emeka Okafor (Connecticut), Chris Thomas (Notre Dame) and Hakim Warrick (Syracuse).

2003-04 Pre-Season Naismith Candidates(In alphabetical order)

Andre Barrett, Seton HallDee Brown, IllinoisJosh Childress, StanfordPaul Davis, Michigan StateIke Diogu, Arizona StateChris Duhon, DukeAndre Emmett, Texas TechRaymond Felton, UNCChanning Frye, ArizonaBen Gordon, U ConnDavid Harrison, ColoradoChris Hill, Michigan StateJulius Hodge, NC StateLuke Jackson, OregonKeith Langford, KansasRashad McCants, UNCMarcus Moore, Washington StateBrandon Mouton, TexasJameer Nelson, St. Joseph’sEmeka Okafor, U ConnRickey Paulding, MissouriJ.J. Redick, DukeDarius Rice, MiamiRomain Sato, XavierWayne Simien, KansasSalim Stoudamire, ArizonaAmit Tamir, CaliforniaChris Thomas, Notre DameHakim Warrick, SyracuseBracey Wright, Indiana