Indiana “in the mix” for 2017 standout Jordan Tucker

  • 07/11/2015 8:27 am in

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – A little more than a year ago when Indiana hired Bronx native Chuck Martin to fill the assistant coaching position vacated by Kenny Johnson, Martin’s familiarity with the New York basketball scene was viewed as a positive.

“It certainly factors in, but I think it would factor in if there were a player in Bloomington that we were recruiting,” Tom Crean said at Martin’s introductory press conference. “Because I think if you can deal with people, geography matters because maybe you’re more comfortable there, you have more contacts. You know the streets. You don’t need a GPS or a map maybe. But the bottom line is where can you go in and develop real relationships and be a connecter.”

A year later, Indiana is hoping that New York connection and Martin’s ability to develop relationships may help get the program in the conversation for class of 2017 White Plains (NY) prospect Jordan Tucker.

Tucker, a 6-foot-8, 200 pound wing who plays for the New York Lightning, holds an Indiana offer and says the New York connection is something he appreciates.

“(Martin) knows where I’m from,” Tucker told Inside the Hall during the Nike EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam. “He’s from there so he knows what it’s like to be a player out of New York.”

Playing up a year in the Nike EYBL, Tucker has fared well over New York Lightning’s first four games at the Peach Jam. He has scored in double figures in all but one of those games, including a 14-point, three-rebound performance in a 65-62 win over Elfrid Payton Elite.

The No. 35 player nationally according to 247Composite says the Nike EYBL experience has not only improved his physical game, but has boosted his confidence along the way.

“From the first game to now, I feel like I’ve learned how to mix it up a lot more,” he said after scoring 14 points in an 82-71 loss to Each 1 Teach 1. “I’ve gone from being a shooter to being a scorer. I’ve been getting to the basket, working on the pull-up and the 3-point game, which is my specialty.

“I’ve learned that I can play with anybody. No matter what I’m ranked or who is ranked above me, I feel like I can play with anyone and I think I showed that today.”

Despite that confidence, Tucker says he’s not satisfied with his game as it stands and is always looking to improve. When asked for an area he’ll be focusing on, Tucker mentioned several facets of the game.

“Defense,” he said. “Been working on rebounding and defense a lot. I want to be able to defend every position on the floor – point guard, wing, even big guys.

“I’m also gonna be focusing on my motor. It has improved, but I want it to be consistent. I’ve got flashes of playing hard, but I want to play hard all the time. I think I’ve got what I need in my skill set, so defense is a focus and I’ll take it from there. They sky’s the limit for me.”

Indiana offered Tucker a scholarship in early May and remains in contact with the four-star prospect.

“They’ve just been consistent in talking to me, just judging my interest with Indiana,” he said. “They’re in the mix with me.”

Jacob Savage is a special contributor to Inside the Hall for this week’s Nike EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam.

(Photo credit: Jon Lopez/Nike)

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  • hoosier93

    The Big 12 still gets a crap ton of talent and every year people are saying that Kansas won’t win it.

  • SilentBob

    We need to go after who fits best. Sometimes they aren’t always rated as high. And not every top kid will want to go to your school. Sometimes it’s nice to stash a 3 star. Have him sit, get better and when you have a year like ’12-’13 when you lose 80% of your scoring you won’t be so screwed the next year. You will have some experienceand maybe, if yea did hit the jack pot, a new superstar

  • SilentBob

    We already dissed Pitino once and there was no way Self was leaving Kansas. That’s his dream school. And they would throw just as much money as us. Screw Cal I don’t like the way he does things. But Donovan would have been.

  • SilentBob

    Everybody picks Kansas every year. And where is this talent you speak of? Buddy frickin Hield and his platoon of nameless players? Baylor? Who always finds a way to get the most lethargic high profile recruit? Or are you talking about the Juco misfits Hoidberg somehow turned into formidable team? Or are you talking about the two years Marcus Smart just shot every time down the court cause otherwise Nash would have? There is a reason why Kansas got smacked down by UKs freshly designed platoon and still managed to win and why Big 12 teams always get knocked early. The big 12 sucks

  • hoosier93

    You don’t like that Cal wins? Mediocre is better….

  • SilentBob

    I’d rather lose doing things the right way than win doing it the wrong way. Dude is sharp, forward thinking at times, and a good coach. But there is a reason he left two schools with violations, there is a reason all top recruit decide to go to Lexington Kentucky instead of the beaches in Cali or some other beautiful state or better academic (despite popular opinion there are athletes who care about that) And it isn’t because he is a great coach with a great pedigree of getting talent to the next level. Plenty of coaches have the same rep. He pushed Kidd Gilchrist out the door before he wanted to leave to make room for his next star. I don’t like that at all. I like my players to be around long enough for me to remember their names and actually see them grow. Plus Donovan is twice the coach anyway.

  • SilentBob

    Actually I don’t even want to sound like that. Whether you think he had anything to do with that or not. The NCAA was in her need of a bad guy and they made Calipari that guy and I don’t want the circus that comes along with that. IU already experienced that with Knigt and Sampson. I just want to watch the team I grew up on play basketball. And ’13 team was a team more than capable of winning a championship. Whether Crean is a good Xs and Os coach or not he can build teams like that. And if you do it enough you will win one

  • hoosier93

    Or maybe he just knows what sells to kids? It was obvious that Kentucky could be this good with the right guy leading. Recruits commit to coaches. They don’t commit to schools. If Cal was at Incarnate Word he could still get recruits. If Crean was at Incarnate Word then they’d still be what they are now.

  • hoosier93

    There are a lot of athletes that are… well… how you explained it. That’s more of a norm now honestly. STUDENT-athletes don’t even exist in High School or even Junior High anymore. But that’s just how it is now. Coaches just want money and players only play for their name. Just how things are now. We really can’t do anything about that. I’m really not going to judge people on how they speak either. It never really says how book smart someone is and that’s all you need to be able to get through school. That and not be lazy. Whether we as IU fans like or not, Cal is seemingly running a clean program at UK. There’s nothing saying otherwise. Unless someone gets some video and audio of something happening then it’s been clean. And media wise it has been WAY cleaner than the IU program. All schools hide failed drug test and such. But they haven’t had any players get kicked off for drugs, pulled over for drinking and driving, trying to go to a bar underage even though everyone in the state of Indiana knows who you are and how old you are. If these things happened at UK then they’d come out. That’s how much press coverage is there for them. Someone would see it and put it on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook. But nothing has cane up. Maybe he learned to keep things tighter after the first two schools. Idk. But they’re essentially running a much cleaner program and winning more than anyone else. You just can’t deny it.

  • hoosier93

    Hartman was no where near being a 4 star. He was ranked outside the Top 200. Morgan will most likely be on the bench most of his freshman year.

  • SilentBob

    Haha that is trick has been around forever. You get a fake so the bouncers can claim ignorance and then they let you pass cause your Tom Coverdale or Yogi Ferrell in this case. But that stuff is quite easy to cover up because most fans don’t want to kid their star players in trouble. And clean isn’t dictated by what one does in his free time. I don’t care if a kid drink or smokes as long as he is doing his job in school and the court. Cheating on the other hand is something different. Crean punished the kids according to the rules. They didn’t even look into Cal when his schools got in trouble so what can he learn from. Especially if ya know they will turn a blind eye.

    I don’t judge people by how they speak if they have some sort of impediment or shyness issue. But when a man speaks confident stupidity then yea ill judge them. And I know Marquis Teague. Or of him at least. My aunt taught him history at Pike. Straight flunked and is one of most arrogant kids you will ever come across. Cool the guy is successful. Cool a lot of kids don’t take their education seriously (far less than you think). I don’t want his tainted record around the university that represent me, my family, or my state.

  • SilentBob

    Hartman at one time was right on the boarder. And was on the rise big time going into his junior year, then a series of injuries (concussions and back problems) shot him down the charts. But he is performing well now and that’s really all that matters anyway

  • SilentBob

    And if a 4 star is going to see mostly bench his freshmen year then we’re heading in the right direction

  • SilentBob

    And Crean didn’t hide the failed drug tests which makes me think we are the clean program.