Wittman looking for more energy from Rice

Wittman looking for more energy from Rice
July 13, 2013, 11:15 am
Share This Post

How have the Wizards improved this off-season?

For most interested in the Wizards, Glen Rice Jr.'s initial chance to make a first impression comes Saturday in Washington's Las Vegas Summer League opener against Golden State (CSN 4p.m. ET/replay at 7)

By now, word is out that the 6-foot-5 swingman has a scorer's mentality and the skill set to deliver points. With the regular season roster lacking a pure backup behind Bradley Beal, there is a chance - likely a slim one - that Rice could work his way into those reserve minutes with a strong off-season.

That is, if he grasps the message his head coach is sending.

"Glen's going to have to learn to play hard," Randy Wittman said following Thursday's practice session. "And play with intensity the whole time...it's a matter of notching it up from an intensity standpoint and understanding there are not a lot of times where he can coast being in the position he's in now. That's the next step he's going to have to make."

Immaturity plagued Rice on the college level before he tasted the professional life and success while playing in the D-League last season. Now at the next level, Rice has acknowledged he indeed has more to learn.

"It was a little bit tougher, maybe, than I thought it was going to be," Rice said of the Wizards mini-camp. "At some point, you think you know most of the concepts of basketball, but every time I get to the next level, I learn something new."

The learning process is also there for Wittman, who played against Glen Rice Sr. when both were in the NBA.

"I'm just learning to understand positioning, what spots to put him and how to use him from that standpoint," Wittman said of the younger Rice. "You know he's been around the game with his father playing. You can tell he's been around the game of basketball. There aren't a lot of foreign things to him."