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Rice has evolved into a lethal weapon after getting limited playing time last season. He averaged 3.4 points with a season high of nine while playing behind Carl Elliott and senior point guard T.J. Thompson. The third-string point guard, who chose to come to GW over Miami, concedes it was a difficult season.

He was eager to start his college career after being forced to spend at year at Lutheran Prep to get his test scores up. After being “the man” since his first playing days, riding the bench was a “shock.”

“At times I was mad,” Rice said. “When I knew I could be out there because someone else wasn’t as playing as well as they usually did and [Hobbs] still wouldn’t play me, I would call my mom, and she would tell me, ‘Everything is going to be all right. You just have to wait your turn.’ ”

Hobbs gave him similar advice, and now Rice’s time has come. Even though he wants to start, he is making his mark playing some 25 minutes as the top reserve.

“That’s the role I have, so I will take it,” he said. “If I get the starting slot, I will be even happier. Sixth man, there is nothing wrong with it. I can come off the bench and still do what I could do as a starter.”

That has been proved against the top teams GW has faced.

“He gives them [another] dimension,” Martelli said. “I mean look around — not just in our league — but in college basketball. Tell me who else has a guy averaging double figures coming into a game?”