The Monmouth University bench is the talk of the college basketball season. In a word animation is the key, and the Monmouth bench is certainly the most entertaining in the NCAA. Perhaps the bench is a little too animated, however it is certainly entertaining to watch. King Rice is the head coach.
Rice, a native of Binghamton, N.Y. and a 1992 graduate of North Carolina, has 13 seasons of experience in the collegiate coaching ranks, 10 of which came with current Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. For the previous five seasons before joining the Hawks Rice was an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, where the Commodores made the NCAA Tournament four years representing the Southeastern Conference.
Rice, 42, served as an assistant to Stallings for five seasons at Illinois State from 1994-98, helping the Redbirds advance to postseason play four times, including two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Rice helped spearhead recruiting efforts and was noted for his solid relationships with players. The Hawks are a great transition team and will run the floor at any given opportunity. This team is also a great cohesive unit that cheers for each other. At this point in the season Monmouth is off to a great start with a 4-2 record, with wins over UCLA, Drexel, Notre Dame, and losses to Dayton and USC. The Hawks met USC twice already this season. The second meeting was in the Advocare classic in Orlando. Look for the Mountain Hawks to make a run in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.