Juwan Rice (senior)
Guard Juwan Rice (senior) has been a defining presence as the team’s lone senior player this season. After a 20-point, eight-steal performance in the season opener against Caltech, Rice racked up a combined 49 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists over the past four games as the men’s basketball team posted an even record against four non-league opponents.
“Juwan is off to a great start of the season,” head coach Brian Newhall said. “He is our most complete player. His statistics are fantastic, but his top priority for us is to defend the opponents’ best perimeter player.”
Rice’s 29 steals and 24 defensive rebounds so far this season have been a testament to that defensive prowess. His quickness and sharp defense propelled the Tigers to one-sided home victories over American Sports University and Bethesda University on Nov. 21 and 22, respectively. During the Tigers’ 107-82 shootout loss against Azusa Pacific, Rice tied his season high of 20 points and also nabbed seven steals.
Rice attributes the team’s strong offense and chemistry to intricately coordinated efforts on all fronts.
“This team is highly skilled offensively, with scoring weapons at every position even coming off the bench,” Rice said. “We are working every day to be a better defensive team to complement our offensive abilities. I am just one scoring option that we have.”
Rice and the team are idle until Saturday Dec. 31st, when they host Saint Joseph’s College (Maine) at 3 p.m.
Tiffany Kho (sophomore)
Monterey Park native Tiffany Kho’s (sophomore) strong performances have been a silver lining for a women’s basketball team still seeking its first win of the season. After leading the team with 2.6 assists per game as a first-year last season, the point guard has lived up to the hype this year as the leader of a young Tiger team.
“The team is definitely learning how to play more together as we continue to work hard in practice and in games,” Kho said. “Every one of my teammates brings their own strengths to this team and we’re in the process of figuring out what roles work best for who, and how that can help the team as a unit.”
Despite the early season struggles for the Tigers, Kho leads the team in points per game (11.6) and assists per game (2.8). Her standout performance during the Southern California Classic All-American Tournament at Whittier Nov. 22–23 earned the team captain a spot on the All-Tournament team. She tallied 28 points and eight rebounds over the two games.
Kho’s lone year of experience at the collegiate level has not affected her ability to lead the squad, according to her coach.
“As a captain, [Kho] has done a nice job of balancing how hard she pushes her teammates while continually encouraging them,” head coach Anahit Aladzhanyan said. “As one of hardest-working and talented players, Tiffany knows that her teammates look up to her and that we—her coaches—have high expectations of her.”
Kho and the squad continue to search for momentum before the Tigers’ first conference game against Pomona-Pitzer on Jan. 3. The team returns to the court in Las Vegas for the D3hoops.com Classic on Dec. 28–29.