January 28, 2021

Jordan Tucker announces he will leave Butler basketball, enter NBA draft

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INDIANAPOLIS – Junior forward Jordan Tucker is apparently leaving Butler after two college basketball seasons.

He posted Thursday on Twitter that he would enter the NBA draft proc. He thanked coach LaVall Jordan, staff, faculty and academic advisers, making it seem the decision was irrevocable.

However, he later posted: “Just to clarify I want to go through this PROCESS and get all of the information I need to make the best decision.”

Tucker’s departure would open up a second scholarship for the Bulldogs. Freshman guard Khalif Battle previously announced he would transfer.

The 6-7 Tucker is coming off a junior season in which he grew as an all-around player, notably as a defender. He was a candidate for Big East sixth man of the year.

He averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game, shooting 36% on 3-pointers. Fifty-five of his 79 field goals were 3s, including two or more 3s in 18 games, and he was in double figures 13 times.

Tucker was ranked 42nd by ESPN in the 2017 class before enrolling at Duke. He stayed at Duke for one semester, then transferred to Butler.

He never played in an NCAA tournament game. He was ineligible when Butler went in 2018. The Bulldogs missed the tournament in 2019, and the NCAA canceled the tourney in 2020 because of the pandemic.

“The last two years at Butler have been amazing and I thank the Butler community for taking a chance on a kid looking for a new family,” Tucker posted. “I’ve not only become a better player, but a better person. Being able to play in the NBA has been my dream since I was a kid and I am excited to take this next step toward reaching it.”

Tucker, of White Plains, N.Y., is the son of Lewis Tucker, who was once president of hip hop artist Diddy’s Sean Combs Enterprises. The father was also an executive at Uptown Records and Universal Music Group.

Lewis Tucker became a sports agent representing NBA players. The son met superstars such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

In a 2018 interview, the father said his son has had the advantage of “just seeing what goes into it, the amount of work you have to put in” to make it in the NBA.

Tucker played as a freshman at White Plains High School before transferring to Archbishop Stepinac, where he averaged 15.6 points as a sophomore and 17.8 as a junior. Tucker’s father relocated to Atlanta in 2016. Jordan transferred to Wheeler, a high school in Marietta, Ga. Wheeler was ranked No. 2 in the nation in preseason but faded to a 22-6 record.

Tucker was a late addition to a Duke recruiting class that had four top-10 prospects: Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter, Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. All but Duvall were selected in the 2018 NBA draft, as was Grayson Allen of Duke. In the 2019 draft, Duke’s Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cameron Reddish were drafted first, third and 10th, respectively.

There were no minutes available for Tucker at Duke, so the transfer made sense. He was mostly impactful at Butler. He scored a career-high 24 points against St. John’s on Jan. 19, 2019, and averaged 9.7 points in 24 games last season.

But in three of his last five college games, Tucker scored three, two and three points in 16, 15 and 21 minutes off the bench.

Contact IndyStar reporter David Woods at david.woods@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.

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