“The thing that Maureece has to understand and realize is that this is a process.” – Erie BayHawks coach John Treloar discussing Maureece Rice.
It’s how John Treloar describes the process of making into the NBA when you’re not a first-round draft choice.
He just hopes Maureece Rice doesn’t lose focus of that in his pursuit of playing at the highest level.
Rice saw limited action for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this week.
In four games, Rice played a total of 36 minutes. He didn’t see action in Cleveland’s fifth and final game Friday night.
Treloar said making the transition from shooting guard to point affected Rice’s play, but admitted Jamont Gordon earned the most minutes.
“He’s a guy that played in Italy, I believe last year and he did a good job,” Treloar said. “He’s a big, strong guard that has the ability to get to the rim and he got most of the minutes.”
A 6-4, 225-pound guard out of Mississippi State, Gordon started all five games for the Cavaliers and averaged 6.8 points, five assists and shot 33.3 percent from the field.
When he did play, Rice struggled to score. He made just 3-of-14 shots from the field and scored a total of eight points.
“Just the adjustment of coming off the bench, I don’t know, but he just didn’t shoot it well,” Treloar said. “He’s capable of shooting it a lot better.”
With Erie, Rice not only played in every game, he was second on team in scoring behind Erik Daniels at 18.7 points a game. The 6-1 Rice also shot 47.1 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from 3-point range made 85 percent of his free throws.
In looking at Rice’s situation, Treloar reflected back on Adrian Griffin, a player he coached in the CBA. Griffin played nine years in the NBA before becoming an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Before making it in the NBA, Griffin played in the CBA, USBL and the Italian League. Treloar ran into him in Las Vegas and asked him how long it took him to make it the NBA.
“He said it took me three years,” Treloar said. “I only had him one year in the CBA because I left to go to (work as an assistant at the University Indiana), but after the third year, he told himself he was going to give it one more summer league and if he didn’t make, he was going to go overseas. Out of that summer league, the Boston Celtics signed him.”
With this being Rice’s first summer league, Treloar just hopes he can hold firm and give it another shot in the future. Rice has said he’ll likely go overseas if he doesn’t get a shot in the NBA this year, but Treloar just hopes his combo guard understands it’s a process.