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Preview: Rice Owls

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Rice Owls

2012-13: 5-26 (1-15 C-USA)
In-conference offense: .95 points per possession (12th)
In-conference defense: 1.17 points per possession (12th)

A departure epidemic following the 2011-12 season left coach Ben Braun as essentially the director of the Tamir Jackson Show ... and subsequently one of the worst teams in the nation. Jackson was about the only proven college player Braun had left, and he hoisted up a higher share of available shots than all but a few players in the country. His eligibility is up, and fellow guard Julian DeBose transferred to Florida Gulf Coast after a promising freshman season. So Braun's rebuilding effort will have to continue around point guard Max Guercy, who started all 31 games and made the Conference USA All-Freshman team. The 5-foot-9 Guercy averaged 9.5 points, hit 37 percent of his 3s and kept his turnover rate reasonable.