Athlete of the Week: Xander Rice ‘23

Caleb Wooten, Staff Writer

The Bucknell Men’s Basketball team is on a roll, picking up two huge victories this past week largely due to the efforts of senior co-captain Xander Rice ’23. 

Over the past two games, Rice is averaging 20.0 points per game alongside 3.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. This stretch has been huge for the Bison, and Rice attributes it to the hard work the team has been putting in to overcome adversity. 

“Our main thing in practice has been believing in ourselves and trusting each other,” Rice said. “We were on a skid and struggling earlier in conference play, but coach kept telling us that the only way we would be able to turn it around is to believe. We just got back to having belief and confidence in each other and knowing that we are still a good team.” 

As a two-year co-captain and three-year starter for the program, the team will go as far as Rice takes them, and the star combo-guard has proven to be capable of handling that responsibility. 

Rice has scored over 1,000 career points as of Wednesday, and has led the Bison in assists each of the past two years. Playing some of the best basketball of his career, Rice looks to continue his efforts leading up to the Patriot League Tournament. 

“The biggest aspect of my game that I have to bring to the team is consistency,” Rice said. “Whether it’s in practice or the game, my team has to know what they are getting from me day in and day out. As an older guy on the team, I have to lead by example. I can’t afford to have a bad day or not bring energy because it directly affects the team. I have to stay positive and confident each day no matter what. We have an extremely talented team, and when we are playing free, fun and hard, we are a hard team to beat. We just have to build off these wins and finish the year strong.” 

The Orange and Blue look to generate even more momentum on the road Wednesday night versus Navy.

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