Former Libertyville star Peterson is leaving Rice
Drew Peterson keeps building impressive stats.
Last week, on the same day after news broke that the former Libertyville basketball star entered the NCAA transfer portal, Peterson says he heard from about 20 schools. He put together a breakout season as a sophomore for Rice University this past season, averaging 11.1 points per game and leading the Owls in rebounds (6.5 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg). The 6-foot-8 guard/forward became the first player in Rice history to record 300 points, 200 rebounds and 100 assists in a season.
He leaves Rice after two productive seasons.
"It was definitely one of the hardest and biggest decisions of my life so far," Peterson said. "I had a great two years at Rice. I have nothing bad to say about it. I love Coach (Scott) Pera, and I had a great time with my teammates. But there have been a couple of moving pieces over the last couple of weeks. Josh Parrish (redshirt junior guard) and Trey Murphy (sophomore guard) were two big guys on our team and decided to transfer. I just reevaluated with my parents and decided I'm ready for the next chapter in my life."
With college campuses closed around the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Peterson left Houston and was back home in Libertyville for about a week before joining his parents for some downtime in Florida. He plans to finish out the semester (online classes), before moving on to his new college, wherever that may be.
"I'm all ears right now," Peterson said. "I'm just testing out the waters of the transfer portal, but I'm definitely looking for a bigger school. It should be a busy week."
That busy week started on the day he entered the transfer portal. Among the schools that contacted Peterson were Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Creighton, Tulane, Oregon State, Stanford and San Diego.
"It should pick up even more as the word gets out," Peterson said. "I'm definitely going to have a lot of stuff going on."
Peterson arrived at Rice at 170 pounds but says he weighs close to 190 now. He played in all 32 games as a freshman (24 starts), averaging 5 points per game. He started 31 of 32 games this past season, helping the Owls go 15-17, including 7-11 in Conference USA. He saw time at shooting guard, point guard and small forward.
"I struggled freshman year with my shot and, overall, my game," Peterson said. "I worked on my handle and my comfortability on the court. I feel like this past season my ability to lead the team pushed me to have a great year individually and helped us get some wins. My confidence was through the roof this year."
Peterson put together an all-state season for Libertyville as a senior in 2017-18, averaging 26.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in leading the Wildcats to 19 wins. He was named captain of the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area team.