Rayjon Tucker, a 6-foot-5 combo guard graduate transfer out of Arkansas-Little Rock, will continue his college basketball career at Memphis, he announced Saturday on Twitter.
Tucker — he chose Memphis over Kansas, Auburn, Iowa State and West Virginia — averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game last season at UALR. The Charlotte, North Carolina native earned second-team all-Sun Belt Conference honors.
Tucker also has entered his name in the 2019 NBA Draft. He has until May 29 to withdraw from the draft if he wishes to play a final season of college ball.
“I want to thank everyone that recruited me through the process, but I will be attending the University of Memphis next year,” Tucker wrote on Twitter.
“(I’m) not pulling my name out of the NBA Draft for everyone that’s wondering,” he added.
He told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello the reason he chose Memphis is “just the relationship I built with Penny (Hardaway, head coach) and Madlock (Tony, assistant), and the learning I can get from the staff to get me to the next level.”
As a graduate transfer, Tucker does not have to sit out a season. If he drops out of the draft, he’ll be immediately eligible to play in games according to grad transfer rules.
Of his recent visit to KU, Tucker said: “It was good. I felt welcomed like family all around, not just with the team and coaches.”
Tucker’s commitment completes a successful recruiting weekend for Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers. Memphis on Friday landed Lester Quinones, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He’s ranked No. 48 in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com. Memphis also has landed No. 1-ranked James Wiseman, No. 50 D.J. Jeffries, No. 84 Damion Baugh and No. 123 Malcolm Dandridge.
Memphis and KU are in the running for R.J. Hampton, a 6-5 senior point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School who is ranked No 6 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com and Precious Achiuwa, a 6-9 senior forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy, who is ranked No. 17 nationally. Hampton has a final four of KU, Memphis, Kentucky and Texas Tech. Achiuwa is considering KU, Memphis, North Carolina, UConn and Georgia.
Also, KU and Memphis have been mentioned as possibilities for Boogie Ellis, a 6-3 senior point guard from Mission Bay High School in San Diego, who is ranked No. 37 nationally.
Ellis started an unofficial visit to Memphis on Thursday according to CBSsports.com’s Gary Parrish.
KU on Wednesday signed No 44-ranked Tristan Enaruna, a 6-8 guard/forward from Wasatch Academy in Utah. KU also has landed guard/forward Christian Braun, who is ranked No. 90 by RIvals.com and point guard Issac McBride, ranked No. 103 nationally.
The Jayhawks have several scholarships to award in the spring signing period, which lasts until Wednesday. Scholarship players who at this time are expected to be on the 2019-20 KU roster: Udoka Azubuike, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Mitch Lightfoot, plus Braun, McBride and Enaruna. Also, freshman point guard Devon Dotson is testing the NBA waters, but there is a strong possibility he will return to school.
Freshman Quentin Grimes and junior Dedric Lawson are expected to remain in the NBA Draft. Soph Silvio De Sousa has said he will pull his name out of the draft pool if he wins an eligibility appeal with the NCAA. Teams are allowed 13 scholarship players. They still can sign grants in aid if they decide after the end of the signing period.
Holyfield picks Texas Tech
TJ Holyfield, a 6-8, 227-pound graduate transfer out of Stephen F. Austin, has decided to play his final year of college basketball at Texas Tech. Holyfield, who is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, chose the Red Raiders over Illinois and KU. He announced his decision Saturday on Twitter.
“The journey continues in Lubbock! I’m happy to announce I’ve committed to the 2019 Big 12 Champions! Excited to be a part of the Red Raider family and ready to get back on the court again!” Holyfield wrote on Twitter.
Holyfield missed all of last season with a dislocated shoulder after averaging 12.9 points (on 54.8 percent shooting, 28 of 68 from three, 41.2 percent) and 6.4 rebounds a game during the 2017-18 campaign. As a junior, he shot 54.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three.
Sources have told the Star that KU had not been recruiting Holyfield of late. He visited KU in late April. Holyfield confirmed to The Star: “I cut them out a little earlier.”
Dotson, De Sousa in Utah
KU sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa and freshman point guard Devon Dotson worked out for the Utah Jazz on Saturday, the team reported on Twitter. They were joined by Zylan Cheatham, Arizona State; Payton Pritchard, Oregon; Harry Froling, Australia and Neemias Queta, Utah State.
“I thought we had a very spirited, good practice today. I could see all six of the guys eventually being NBA players,” Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin told reporters after the workout.
He added: “We don’t advise underclassmen of what to do. We tell them what we think in terms of what they need to work on and how they may translate to the NBA and what they could do if they go back to college and then it’s their decision.”
Grimes works out for Atlanta
KU freshman Quentin Grimes worked out for the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, a day after his 19th birthday. He’s also worked out for the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.
“It was really good, my time at Kansas,” Grimes said after the workout to Ben Stinar of Amicohoops.net. “Coach (Bill) Self, great coach, Hall of Fame coach. Great environment at Kansas, sold out every game no matter who we played.”
Grimes will attend this week’s NBA Combine in Chicago.
“Maybe once I go to the combine, and I think I have a couple workouts after that, then I’ll probably make my decision (whether to stay in the draft),” he told Stinar. He told Stinar feedback from NBA officials has been positive thus far.
Grimes has until May 29 to remove his name from the draft pool if he wishes to return to college. KU coach Self has said all indications have been that Grimes would like to remain in the draft.