The Season in Review
Looking back at the year’s most prominent sports
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 16:05
Kazemi, who averaged more than 12 points and 10 rebounds a game, became the conference’s all-time leader in career double-doubles on the season, en route to earning All-C-USA Second Team Honors.
The team also received consistent contributions from an outstanding freshman class, led by Dylan Ennis, Ahmad Ibrahim and Jarelle Reischel, who combined for 21 points and 48 minutes a game.Also pivotal to the success of the team was the development of center Omar Oraby, who set the school record for blocks in a season, and the play of Lucas Kuipers (Hanszen ’12), Emerson Herndon (Hanszen ’12) and Nate Schwarze (Sid Rich ’12).
After finishing at 17-15 following the conference tournament, the Owls accepted a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, their first postseason action in 7 years. Rice drew a matchup with Louisiana-Lafayette in the first round, a game they won 68-63 on 18 points from Frizzelle. Rice then overcame a halftime deficit to beat Drake 74-68, led by 38 total points from the freshman trio. The win marked the first season with multiple postseason victories for Rice and earning them a game in the CIT quarterfinals with high-scoring Oakland, a game they lost 77-70, ending their season with a record of 19-16.
In spite of what was a successful season for the men’s basketball program, the postseason headlines were marred by the departure of multiple members of what was an extremely productive 2011-12 freshman class.
C-USA All-Freshman guard Dylan Ennis announced his decision to transfer to play at Villanova, and Reischel elected to continue his college basketball career at Rhode Island.
Ennis and Reischel, from Canada and New Jersey respectively, each cited a desire to play closer to home as factors in their decisions to leave Rice. After sophomore David Chadwick also transferred, the program took yet another hit when Ibrahim announced his decision to pursue a professional career in his native country of Lebanon.
These departures, while a blow to the 2012-2013 team, should not override what looks to be yet another talented recruiting class for Coach Braun. California guards Max Guercy and Austin Ramljak provide depth to the backcourt, joining Philly native Keith Washington to form a trio that will compete for playing time as freshmen.
The class also includes commits from Nizar Kapic (Austria) and Ross Wilson (England), a pair of athletic wings that bring an international pedigree that has become commonplace with Coach Braun’s recruiting classes.
With program pillars Kazemi and Jackson back for their senior years, along with the incoming class and the continued development of Oraby and freshmen Seth Gearhart and Julian DeBose, the 2012-13 men’s team has a good chance to compete for another postseason berth while continuing the upward trend of success that Ben Braun has brought to Rice over the past few years.