After flying under the radar for 4 years at New Mexico State, Sir’Jabari Rice translated to Big 12 play at Texas smoothly. As a 5th year senior, Rice averaged 13 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG, and 1.5 TOPG on splits of 46/37/86. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Sir’Jabari Rice
Height/Weight: 6’4 ½ / 170
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’9/8’5
Hand size: 9
Pre-Draft team: Texas
Tools: Shooting, ball-fake
- Historically good pump fake
- Great shooting touch
- Capable jump shooter in a variety of ways: off turnaround jumpers, pull-up jumpers, and spot-up shooting
- Long arms
- Good finisher at the rim
- Good decision-maker that generally doesn’t make mistakes
- Strong defensive instincts
- Good vision with creativity for cutters
- Mediocre size
- Needs to add weight
- Can be prone to turnovers on contact; needs to improve ball security
- Old for his class; will be 25 at the end of the year
- Finishing at the rim translating
- How much his game jumps if he adds weight/muscle
Sir’Jabari Rice has improved his draft stock more than almost any other prospect over the two months of offseason after the NCAA Tournament. He climbed the ladder by performing well at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT), the G League Elite Camp, and playing well in the NBA Combine scrimmages.
Sir’Jabari Rice will find ways to get on the court simply by shot-making and breaking down defenses with a pump fake that is sure to get defenders off their feet in the NBA. Rice’s pump fake is arguably the best pre-draft shot fake ever, and is an incredibly unique tool he uses to create space or collapse the defense. Rice has shown flashes of creativity this year as a ball-handler; he is mostly mistake-free with the ball in his hands and quickly reacts to broken defenses, being able to find the holes easily. This makes him a great threat as an off-ball guard, even with him being on the shorter end of what his role will be.
Defensively, Rice has the length, instincts, motor, and overall intelligent decision making to make him a translatable defender. While he is limited to simply defending both guard slots, he is effective in that role, which helps him make an impact on the game even without scoring.
Overall, Rice is intelligent and mistake-free with room to grow on both ends as he adds muscle to his long frame, giving him more upside as a scorer near the rim and as a passable defender. Add this to a lethal element of shooting with unpredictability, and he becomes an intriguing prospect, age aside. Rice is worth taking a flier on at the end of the draft with a reasonable & quick path to NBA minutes on a cheap contract.
Similar to: Austin Rivers, Matt Thomas, Landry Shamet
Projected draft range: 45-undrafted
Expected role: Shooter off the bench that can break down defenses off of pump fakes.
Unplayable if: Being undersized limits his impact as an off-ball player, and teams remain disciplined on his fake more than college defenders.
Exceeds expectations if: Jumper translates, teams still bite on his fake, and ball security improves with added strength.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & Shoot 3s: 55/143 (38.5%)
Jumpers off the dribble: 22/54 (40.7%); 14-28 (50%) on OTD 2s
Runner: 12-25 (48%); 82nd percentile
Handoffs: 1.417 PPP (97th percentile) on 19-34 (56%) shooting
Spot-up: 89th percentile: 61-131 (46.6%)