Travis Trice has never been nor will ever be the most talented guy on the court. However, he the glue that held together the Michigan State Spartans on their Final Four run this past March and April. A quintessential Tom Izzo point guard, Trice uses his high basketball IQ to make a serious impact on the court. But what does the graduated senior's draft stock look like?
Trice's game has taken great strides over the course of his four year collegiate career. A product of Huber Heights, OH, he was listed as a three-star recruit out of high school with his only offer coming from MSU. However, like he does, Izzo was able to develop him into one of the best point guards in the Big Ten.
One of Trice's greatest strengths is his ability to run the offense effectively. A smart team player, Trice sees the floor very well, especially on the fast break. It wasn't rare to see him this past season throwing alley-oops to Branden Dawson off of opposing teams' missed baskets. He is also a better passer than his 5.1 APG show. What made him so good in the NCAA tournament actually turned out to be his scoring. While during the season he averaged 15.3 PPG, he was able to drop 23 and 24 on #2 Virginia and #3 Oklahoma en route to Indianapolis. Duke's Coach K even went as far as to call Trice "one of the best players in the [NCAA] tournament".
While he may not be the best at creating his own shots, Trice still can shoot the basketball fairly well. His senior season 36.9% from three was down significantly from the previous season's 43.4%, but he also took nearly twice as many shots from beyond the arc. He is, however, a below average free throw shooter at 71.5%, but has the potential to grow much better.
The major downside for Trice is his size. At 6-0, 170lbs, he is on the short side for NBA stature. He utilized his quickness at Michigan State to compensate, but this will be much more difficult to do on a professional level. Some might also argue that Trice is the product of Izzo's system and his success will not translate to the NBA. There is truth that Izzo was instrumental in Trice's development and success, but the growth in skill remains to be seen.
Possibly the best description of Trice would be a less talented Chris Paul type player that could provide valuable minutes off the bench in the NBA. I waver on whether he can stick to an NBA roster long-term, but Trice has a very strong work ethic and is willing to put time and energy into his game. This could pay dividends down the road once he hits the professional level.