Taipans Sign Travis Trice
Taipans sign Travis Trice to first import spot
The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans have signed former Michigan State University standout point guard Travis Trice for the 2016-17 season.
Trice led his seventh-seeded Michigan State Spartans to the NCAA Final Four as a senior in 2015, claiming East Region MVP honours and averaging 19.0 points and 4.2 assists.
It was this Final Four run that first piqued Taipans head coach Aaron Fearne's interest.
"They made a massive run to the final four, and he was a huge part of driving them there.
“Travis was really impressive there and I actually made a lot of deep investigations for last year’s import positions, but he’d wanted to go the D-League route instead," Fearne said.
The 183-centimetre playmaker went on to sign a partially-guaranteed deal with the NBA’s New York Knicks in 2015, before being assigned to their Westchester Knicks D-League affiliate for 2015-16.
In 49 games for Westchester, he averaged 15.3 points and 5.7 assists.
“He had an outstanding season with Knicks; playing the triangle offence isn’t easy, and he did a really good job,” Fearne said.
Trice is known for his deadly mid-range game, but has also shown he can convert from long range and score at the rim.
He demonstrated his ability to perform under the spotlight in the Final Four, capping a breakout senior year at Michigan State where he doubled his output as a starter.
In 39 games, Trice scored 15.3 points and dished out 5.1 assists, up from 7.3 points and 2.3 assists in his junior year.
“He’s a winner, coming from a winning programme. He’ll bring a high level of intelligence, effort and execution, which will be really important,” Fearne said.
“He’s played on the biggest stage. He’s played in the Final Four just like Scottie Wilbekin did. That’s the biggest stage there is and he went out there and played really well.”
“We think he’ll be a good fit for us. The point guard position in the NBL is really strong, so you need players who can hold their own in that spot.”
Travis Trice Biography
College: Michigan State (2011-2015)
Professional: New York Knicks, NBA (2015); Westchester Knicks, D-League (2015-16).