University of Kansas

Little Rock grad transfer Tucker completes KU visit: ‘I felt welcomed like family...’

Rayjon Tucker completed an official campus visit to Kansas on Sunday. It marked his fifth visit since announcing plans to leave Arkansas-Little Rock as a graduate transfer on March 21.

“It was good. I felt welcomed like family all around, not just with the team and coaches,” Tucker, a 6-foot-5 combo guard from Albuquerque, New Mexico, told The Star in an instant message.

The next step for Tucker — he’s also made trips to Memphis, Auburn, Iowa State and West Virginia — is to choose a new college basketball team.

“I don’t have a date. Probably in the next week or so,” Tucker said of the day he’ll reveal his transfer destination.

Tucker, who averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game last season at Little Rock, 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 college basketball a fourth season.

Tucker appeared to bond with KU fans during his weekend visit. He posted his whereabouts on Twitter several times and told fans he’d welcome meeting them and taking pictures with them. His comments on Twitter drew several replies from fans.

Here are some highlights from Tucker’s junior season at Little Rock: He scored 610 points, becoming the fifth player in program history to reach the 600 point mark. He ranked fourth in program history in points per game ... he played 1,107 minutes on the year, good for 36.6 minutes per game. That ranked first in the Sun Belt Conference and in the top 25 nationally in minutes per game. … He scored a career-high 36 points on 11-of-15 shooting (9 of 13 from line) on Jan. 5 at Louisiana. He had 33 points with eight boards on Dec. 1 versus Sam Houston State. He had 29 points on Jan. 24 against Coastal Carolina (14 of 15 from line), 24 points and 10 boards on Nov. 19 versus Tulsa, 24 points on Feb. 23 against Arkansas State and 16 points and a season-best 14 rebounds on Dec. 22 at Georgetown. He had 27 dunks on the season (four in a game twice) and 33 steals. In high school he averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds and 4.0 assists during his four-year career.

As a graduate transfer, Tucker would not have to sit out a season. He’d be immediately eligible to play in games according to grad transfer rules.

Mane offered by KU, others

Karim Mane, a 6-3 junior point guard from Montreal, fared well Friday at the Under Armour Association event in Manalapan, New Jersey, Rivals.com reports.

No coaches were in attendance during this dead period in recruiting.

He’s received scholarship offers from Kansas, Xavier, Illinois, Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Oregon, Providence, Florida, and Minnesota, according to Rivals.com.

“No one boosted their stock more during the first and only spring evaluation period than Karim Mane. The product out of Canada is in the argument for a five-star rating and it is because of his tremendous physical tangibles, quality motor and diverse scoring prowess that he has seen offers from some of the best come in within recent days,” writes Corey Evans of Rivals.com.

Cunningham on KU’s radar

KU, Kentucky, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, LSU and others are recruiting Cade Cunningham, a 6-7 junior small forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy, Rivals.com reports. He’s ranked No. 5 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com.

“I said it during the winter and I’m doubling down on it now. If I’m a college coach and I’m recruiting strictly for my college team and winning games, give me Cade Cunningham over anybody else (in Class of 2020),” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com

“With (R.J.) Hampton’s move to 2019, Cunningham just jumped to No. 5 overall in 2020 and he’s earned it. We currently have him listed as a small forward but I’m saying we’ll switch him to point guard. He controls the game, has tremendous size and is all about making the right play.,” Bossi adds.

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