Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tucker Likely Headed To Stepinac

When a player of Jordan Tucker's profile weighs his transfer options, the nation's notable prep hotbeds seem like potential destinations.

Division-I launchpad factories such as Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), Monteverde Academy (Fla.), St. Thomas More (CT), are likely to surface.

By taking the prep powerhouse route, Tucker would have the luxury of playing a national schedule.

He'd be bordered by a chock full of high-major recruits. He'd play in several televised games, earning magnified exposure throughout the season.

He'd be smack in the middle of a distractions-free environment, with an unremitting class-and-basketball schedule readying him for the rigors of the NCAA experience.

A 6-foot-7 perimeter shooter with Division-I interest from Providence, Oklahoma, Xavier, Fordham, Minnesota, and Dayton, Tucker took the road less traveled by.

The 16-year-old rising sophomore announced via Twitter he'll be transferring from White Plains to Stepinac, the Tigers' longtime arch rival.

It was rumored that Tucker was wooed by various prep schools five hours away. Now it appears Tucker is headed five minutes away.

Tucker's decision to transfer comes in timely fashion. The CHSAA recently implemented a new rule, now permitting incoming transfers to play immediately without having to sit out a year. 

Likely relocating right up the NY-127, Tucker has aspirations to revive the Crusaders, which languished around the .500 mark for much of 2013-14.

"I want to help change the (Stepinac) program around and play against better competition," Tucker said.

Tucker's stock heightened with a 34-point eruption during a win over Cardinal Spellman at the Slam Dunk Challenge in December.

Firing at the tight, career-slaying rims of the Westchester County Center, rims known to hurl an assassin of even Steph Curry or J.J. Reddick's magnitude into a 3-for-14 or 5-for-21 brick fest, Tucker sniped 6-for-11 from beyond the arc.

While his numbers were inconsistent throughout his freshman season, Tucker averaged 13.9 points and buried 38 3-pointers.

At White Plains, under defensive guru Spencer Mayfield, Tucker formed a high-production freshman-senior tandem alongside All-State guard Mike DeMello.

DeMello, who led White Plains with 16.6 points and 4.4 assists, is now at nearby Pace University (Pleasantville, N.Y.). 

"Right now I've been improving my athleticism and strength, trying to get after it more on the defensive end," said Tucker, who played at  IMG Academy (Fla.) as a beyond-his-years eighth-grader and flirted with the idea of attending St. Benedict's Prep before landing at White Plains.

A source close to the situation said the transfer is not 100 percent yet. More facts and details will likely be revealed on Monday.

"Jordan is the type of kid who knows what he wants and won't stop until he gets there," said DeMello of Tucker.

"Playing with Jordan makes the game much easier for everyone but the opposing team. His offensive ability is advanced and will continue to grow more and more as he keeps on developing his game. He works extremely hard on his craft and I believe he can take his game to the next level wherever his heart desires."