LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – One of the most important players at New Mexico State over the last five years is taking his talents to the state capital.
Jabari Rice, who was a three-time all-WAC selection for the Aggies, announced his commitment to the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday. A sixth-year graduate transfer, Rice will have one year of eligibility remaining with the Longhorns.
A Houston native, Rice will get to play his final year of college basketball just two hours from home. He averaged 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and a team-best 3.2 assists for the Aggies in 2021-22, helping NMSU to its first win in the NCAA Tournament in 29 years in the process.
Texas head coach Chris Beard traveled to the Borderland himself late last week to recruit Rice to Austin, multiple sources told KTSM. It appeared that Rice’s choices were down to NMSU and Texas, but a late visit to Grand Canyon over the Easter holiday threw things up in air some.
Rice will look to step in and play well in the Big-12 in his one season at that level. After Devin Askew hit the NCAA Transfer Portal earlier today, Rice could get an opportunity as a starter at Texas, or as a key contributor off the bench.
With Rice out of the picture, new New Mexico State head coach Greg Heiar got what appears on paper to be a great replacement for him. The Aggies signed former Top-100 recruit DaJuan Gordon on Tuesday morning.
NMSU is Gordon’s third school; He began his collegiate career at Kansas State, averaging 9 points per game in 2020-21. He spent 2021-22 at Missouri, where he averaged 8.3 points per game.
An electric athlete, Gordon appears to fit the mold of a playmaking guard that Heiar covets for his system. Heiar has been billed as a good recruiter and the signing of Gordon certainly proves that.
Rice’s first game at Texas will feature a familiar opponent: the Longhorns will welcome UTEP to town to open the 2022-23 season.