When we talk about the best players in the ACC, we go with the old familiars.
Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Jack McClinton, Kyle Sigler, and Jeff Teague come to mind fairly quickly.
It's easy to forget Tyrese Rice of the Boston College Eagles.
In fact, I think most people have a hard time remembering BC actually is in the ACC.
Well Tyrese Rice, the Rodney Dangerfield of the ACC, simply cannot get respect.
Let's face it kids, Rice is not just a good player, he is a great player. He has all the intangibles that separate the mundane from the magnificent and yesterday's performance was just a microcosm of what makes the former L.C. Bird superstar so special.
Rice has averaged 17 points or more the past three seasons alongside over five assists per game, shooting 212 three pointers and an impressive 82 percent at the free-throw line.
Still, Rice is much more than just stats; he has been burdened with the tough role of leading an incredibly young team and has grown through that process physically and mentally.
The Eagles certainly had their struggles last season, mainly because Rice did not have the talent and experience around him to produce what everyone ultimately cares about: winning.
Believe me, if Rice were at Duke or North Carolina, he would be slurped on a daily basis and projected as a No. 1 draft pick.
Maybe Rice won't go No. 1 this summer in the NBA Draft, but I do think Rice may be the best guard in the country, better than even Stephen Curry.
Rice has an incredible touch and a knack for scoring as I said. He can shoot from all over the floor and he does a tremendous job throwing his body around. He can take the punishment and make them pay at the line.
Rice is so durable, he averaged 38 minutes a game last season.
Think about that, 38 out of 40 minutes, game in and game out. People focused their entire defense on him and they simply could not stop him.
I know it might be easy to pad stats in all those minutes, but Rice has not only played well in the clutch but on the biggest stages.
Last night's performance was no fluke, last year against the Heels, Rice scored a career-high 46 points.
Against Wake Forest, he scored 32 points.
Still, don't call him a ball hog.
Rice has proven this year that he is more than just a scorer by bringing along Rakim Sanders and Reggie Jackson to give the Eagles a much needed front court offensive presence.
Rice did a tremendous job of getting them open looks against the Tar Heels; he did an even better job of keeping them calm and composed in one of the toughest places to play in the country.
That sort of leadership is something that players aren't always blessed with, but Rice has it.
He also has a strong sense of discipline and duty, a critical aspect often overlooked when picking NBA caliber college players from out of the crowd.
Rice is not the kind of guy to go home clubbing after a big win, he would rather stay at home with his two-year old son Ashawn or practice in the gym.
Rice really can do anything for any team and he has Boston College proving everyone wrong when they were selected 11th in the ACC preseason polls.
So can he get some love, please!?
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