Posted On: 11/9/17 8:07 AM
photo credit: @FLITEbasketball Twitter account
When it came time for early signing day in the Treasure Valley, Max Rice stole the show as he officially signed his National Letter of Intent to play for his father Leon Rice at Boise State University.
By doing so, Rice will enter this season as Prep Hoops Idaho’s Most Interesting Player, as he will be under an even more magnified lens following the hype of his signing with the Broncos. Rice gave his verbal commitment back in August to the Broncos, as the 6’4 sharp shooting guard planned his next step which will be in a blue and orange uniform.
Despite what some may call scrutiny in which Rice will enter his senior season at Bishop Kelly with, a player of his caliber can surely handle it as he has already shown it in his young career. In an article written by B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press Tribune, Rice was reported to have been the recipient of taunting from fans during a matchup with Middleton as they crowd chanted “who’s your daddy?” in what became a failed attempt to get in the head of Rice, as he went on to score 30 points and lead his team to a double-digit victory a season ago.
Rice’s accolades are impressive as last season he spearheaded the Knights to a third place finish at the state tournament after leading the league in scoring with 18.5 points per game. He earned 4A Southern Conference Player of the Year, and is a two-time 4A All-Idaho First Team selection. His game is well rounded, and he undoubtedly has a flare for smarts on the court as he has seemingly grown up in the gym. Both Rice brothers (Brock plays for Northwest Christian University) will be enjoying collegiate careers as of next summer when Max will officially suit up for the Broncos.
Now, what does this potentially mean for Max Rice this upcoming season? Well, if he didn’t have a target on his back before (which he did), he certainly does now at an even greater size. No doubt opposing players and teams will be looking to size up Rice and prove their worth against the Boise State signee, as he will get everyone’s best effort. The good news is that it will likely raise Max’s already polished game to another level, but also that too of his competitors. The 4A SIC is arguably a toss up this year as Prep Hoops Idaho has heard from multiple coaches that it will be a dogfight till the end. There should be some thrilling contests on tap and must see match ups.
A couple of conference games to circle will be first, against Vallivue. These two teams last squared off in the 4A District III semifinal, it was a heated game that saw two players on Vallivue receive a one game suspension due to an on the court altercation involving Max Rice in a loose ball situation. With Steele Hadlock among Gabe Gallegos, Gabe Childs, Caleb Rhoton, Jayden Moran, Amaro Lado, and Kyle Skamser returning for the Falcons, when these two teams lock horns it will be an electric atmosphere. Hadlock even mentioned in his interview with Prep Hoops Idaho that Rice is “my favorite player to play against is Bishop Kelly’s Max Rice, we have been playing against each other since we were in fifth grade AAU basketball. When we play it’s a battle and it’s always fun to have such great competition.”
Another intriguing guard matchup involving Rice will be when his team faces off against Skyview and Chris Kielman, who sits as our 14th ranked 2018 player. Kielman dropped 14 points in a win over then top ranked Bishop Kelly back in January while Rice scored 14 points as well. Kielman and Hawks also edged Bishop Kelly when they met back in December with a one point victory while Kielman dropped in 9 points and Rice went for a game high 18 points. Cayden Wright (18th ranked 2018, Skyview) is also an interesting prospect who will be one to watch for when Rice and Knights meet up with the Hawks. Rice will be looking to avenge both losses this upcoming year and it should be loads of fun to watch.
With all of these challenges and many more set in place, Rice will be Prep Hoops Idaho’s Most Interesting Player to watch in 2017-2018 on a number of fronts. The savvy guard will more than likely prevail and could move up our rankings during the process. Stay tuned.