Glen Rice Jr.: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile


Strengths

As the name might allude to, Glen Rice Jr. is an outstanding jump shooter who connected on 38 percent of his three-pointers in 48 D-League games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season. Much like his father, Rice has consistent mechanics that make him deadly in catch-and-shoot situations but not bad off the dribble either. He steps into his shots, squares his feet with the rim and doesn’t have much unnecessary motion.

The development of his jump shot is surprisingly new. Since being kicked off the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in his junior season, Rice has improved greatly in that regard. But he was always effective because of his athleticism. Rice is at his best in transition, using his length and athleticism to run and then finish.

At 6-foot-5.75 with shoes, it’s Rice’s 6-foot-9 wingspan that gives him another advantage. That combination of length and athleticism makes him a very good rebounder for a shooting guard. His added strength since playing in the D-League has helped him finish around the rim through contact as well.

Question marks

Multiple off-court issues led to Rice getting booted from Georgia Tech. The final straw was being charged with “permitting unlawful operation” because he was pulled over in Atlanta and two associates were charged with discharging a firearm and DUI, respectively, according to USA Today.

It’s hard to say whether Rice’s borderline first-round stock is more because of his issues from college or other deficiencies.

On the court, he has a way to go especially on the defensive end. Considering his athletic abilities and knack for getting in passing lanes and blocking shots, Rice’s untapped potential is because he often doesn’t display the effort or focus needed to keep him on an NBA court.

Additionally, Rice is fairly limited as a scorer and has yet to shown the ability to create for others.

X-factor

Rice has the genes and the experiences at this point to be an excellent pro, but the red flags certainly have hurt his stock. That being said, Rice having the experience of playing in college then as an essential pro in the D-League – not to mention having the advice of his father – could lead NBA executives to believe that he’s grown up.

And the improvement in Rice’s three-point shot is possibly a sign that his upside based on his athletic talents can be tapped into. Still, all this is to-be-determined.

How he fits with the Suns

Rice worked out for the Suns with a number of intriguing shooting guards on Friday. He was joined by Evansville’s Colt Ryan, who averaged 20 points per game, 4.0 assists per and also shot nearly 40 percent from the three-point line in his senior year. Also among the group was an unknown in Angelo Sharpless, an athlete who played at Elizabeth City State College and at one time jumped over Duke’s Mason Plumlee.

Obviously, the Suns are looking for upgrades at shooting guard. Scoring ability and athleticism are the two key components for Phoenix, and Rice brings both. He may be a project defensively, but the Suns have time for Jeff Hornacek to mold him. With the ability to play immediately, a player like Rice could have a few years to turn into a Lance Stephenson-esque pick a few years down the road.

And 1 … a second-rounder to consider

The Suns also worked out big men in BYU Brandon Davies, St. Joseph’s C.J. Aiken and Creighton’s Greg Echenrique on Friday. While Davies would be appealing for that 57th pick, Sharpless is a star in the bluegrass hoops circuit because of his freak athleticism and that could make him a project selection with greater upside. He averaged 20 points per game at a Division II school and wasn’t a poor shooter, so it’s a wonder if he could be a steal of a pick considering his athletic gifts.

Another And 1

  • Scott

    This pretty much says it all:

    “On the court, [Rice] has a way to go especially on the defensive end. Considering his athletic abilities and knack for getting in passing lanes and blocking shots, Rice’s untapped potential is because he often doesn’t display the effort or focus needed to keep him on an NBA court.

    “Additionally, Rice is fairly limited as a scorer and has yet to show the ability to create for others.”

  • foreveris2long

    I have never seen him play but I am intrigued by his upside and DNA.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    Rice was dominant down the stretch in the D-League which is what is prompting the interest….avgd 16 pts shooting 45% from 3 pt range over his last 10 games.

    Some other D-Leaguers worthy of note:
    Tyler (my boy) Honeycutt….in limited minutes avgd 10 1/2 ppg & over 7 rebounds while shooting 40% from 3 & 84%$ from the line…..has great length on the wing as evidenced by his 2 steals per game avg.
    Honeycutt was also 3rd in D-League PER at 22.15 behind only Hassan Whiteside & former Kentucky star Terrence Jones.
    Honeycutt is UFA & could be had for next to nothing…..I hope McD gives him a shot.

    Hassan Whiteside…..the 7 footer avgd 6 1/2 pts & 5 1/2 rebs in only 12 minutes per game.
    Led the D-League with over 2 blocks per game & was#1 in the league in PER at 25.62.
    Whiteside is another UFA who I hope McD brings in.

    Honeycutt & Whiteside would probably be regarded as 1st round picks in this year’s draft & the Suns could get them for bargain basement prices.
    I hope the Suns sign both but especially Whiteside should not be overlooked.

  • Scott

    The scouting from college days on Whiteside show he has low IQ and low maturity. He’s 24 now, so … maybe he has gained some maturity to go along with his 7′ 7″ wingspan?

    From DX:

    The soon-to-be 21-year-old freshman bafflingly elected to arrive for measurements in flip-flops (a true story), which only gave him an additional inch in shoes (6-10 ½ without shoes, 6-11 ½ with)—as opposed to Cole Aldrich who gained 2 ¼ inches.

    [...]

    One of Whiteside’s biggest problems lies in his extremely poor passing ability. Playing 851 minutes on the season, Whiteside has dished out only 9 assists, a shockingly low number that ranks him amongst the worst in college basketball in that area. Watching him play, it’s clear that once he touches the ball, he sees nothing besides the rim, often forcing up extremely poor shots and having major issues dealing with double teams, which makes him very turnover prone.

    Whiteside’s fundamentals, basketball IQ and overall awareness are well below average, even considering his freshman status. He at times looks out of place in Marshall’s half-court offense, looking as if he’s not quite sure where he should be at any particular moment, which at this late stage in the season makes you wonder about his ability to process an NBA team’s far more complex playbook.

    Whiteside had a very difficult time qualifying academically for college, only actually getting into school at age 20, and is reportedly having problems staying eligible now that he’s already there, which will likely leave him no choice but to enter this year’s draft.

    “Immature” is the word you hear most often associated with Whiteside both on and off the court, as there will certainly be a large degree of hand-holding and coddling that whichever team drafts him needs to do in order to help him reach his full potential. There are major questions about his work ethic and intensity level, which is a bit concerning considering how far off he currently is from being able to contribute to an NBA team. We also need to keep in mind that despite his freshman status, he’s the same age as many college juniors, turning 21 this upcoming June. This obviously limits his upside to a certain degree.

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com#ixzz2WxD87ISk

  • DBreezy

    Yeah Whiteside could have been a top 3 pick if he had stayed at Marshall and developed a little more. Going to Sac was the worst possible situation for hm. Similar to DeAndre Jordan and the Clips or McGee and the Wizards.

  • Ty-Sun

    I think that Rice just has to many issues to be a serious consideration for any rebuilding team, especially the Suns.

    Whiteside, Honeycutt and hopefully many others will hopefully at least be given a long hard look in the summer league.

    @DBreezy – Going to Sac was the worst possible situation for EVERYONE they drafted while the Maloofs owned that team. If the Suns hadn’t gotten rid of Blanks, I could see this team going down that same road. But I have faith in McD and Horny to begin turning things around.

  • Scott

    “But I have faith in McD and Horny to begin turning things around.”

    Particularly in Hornacek, for me. While I think McD is a huge improvement over Blanks, I’m not sure yet what McD can do and what his faults might be. But I have faith in Hornacek to run this team like he ran his own game. I believe he’ll do what can be done, and he’ll strive to outperform.

  • DBreezy

    I don’t know if anyone has seen these yet, but Grantland has a nice little series of interviews with a lot of the draft prospects called ‘The Full NBA Job interview” Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons run the interviews which can be found either via the Grantland web page or by searching YouTube. I recommend searching YouTube because each interview has two versions. One is a condensed 3-3:30 minute version and the other is a longer 10-15 min version where more questions are answered.

  • Scott

    I looked for the Grantland interviews and didn’t see any of them on players I was interested in, but this one did catch my eye:

    Analytics Say That NBA Players Should Crash the Boards More Often

    I’ve been wanting the Suns to assign more players to crash the boards FOREVER, it seems. I have no difficulty believing it gives an advantage, as that matches what I’ve witnessed for a long time now.

    Gentry, for example, definitely doesn’t believe in crashing the boards, but prefers instead to have the team get back on defense.

  • John D

    I know it may be immaterial but Whiteside is averaging monster double double numbers in China. Has had some triple doubles with blocks. Followed him at Marshall and wish he would “get it” and maximize his potential