Rice Owls

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NCAAB Rice Owls

General Team Information:

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Conference USA (2005-present)

Past Conferences: Southwest, Western Athletic

City: Houston

Stadium: Tudor Fieldhouse

NCAA Tournaments: 4 (1940, 1942, 1954, 1970)

Championships:

National Championships: None

Conference Tournament Titles: None

Conference Regular Season Titles: 10 (1918, 1935, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1949, 1954, 1970)

Team History

The Rice Owls are a Division I program located in Houston. Rice joined Conference USA in 2005 and is coached by Scott Pera. At 53 years, Rice has one of the longest NCAA Tournament droughts in Division I men’s basketball. In 1970, their fourth and most recent appearance, the Owls lost in the first round to New Mexico State.

The Owls first made the tournament in 1940 when the field was just eight teams, and won the regional third-place game against Colorado. They returned in 1942 and again in 1954 after the field had expanded to 24. Those appearances, unsurprisingly, coincided with the program’s most prosperous stretch. Rice won the Southwest Conference regular season championship six times during the 1940s, including four straight from 1942-45, and surpassed 20 wins three times.

In 1943, the Owls made their National Invitational Tournament debut. At that time, the NIT was regarded as a premier event. They scored a first-round victory over Wisconsin in 1993, two years after returning to the NIT following a 48-year absence. Rice also participated in 2004 and 2005.

Pera Promoted to Head Coach

Additionally, Rice played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2012 and reached the quarterfinals following wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and Drake. The school most recently appeared in both the 2017 and 2022 College Basketball Invitationals.

Pera, a former Rice assistant, was promoted to head coach in 2017-18 after Mike Rhoades accepted a job at VCU. Pera won at least 15 games in three of his first five seasons at the helm. The Owls faced long odds entering 2022-23, as they were ranked seventh out of 11 teams in the C-USA preseason poll.

Notable alumni include former NBA All-Star and two-time Sixth Man of the Year Ricky Pierce and Trey Murphy III, a 2021 NBA first-round draft pick who finished his college career at Virginia. Pierce is one of six Owls to have his number retired, along with Bill Henry, Gene Schwinger, Bill Closs, Bob Kinney and Don Lance.

 

All-Time Records

Points Scored

  • Mike Harris: 2,014
  • Brent Scott: 1,906
  • Ricky Pierce: 1,847

Rebounds

  • Mike Harris: 1,111
  • Brent Scott: 1,049
  • Arsalan Kazemi: 963

Assists

  • Max Guercy: 503
  • Dana Hardy: 502
  • Lorenzo Williams: 442

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