Talking with Darquavis Tucker

Darquavis Tucker's first visit to the Michigan State campus turned out to be probably the worst time for the Spartan program to make a first impression. Lucky for the Spartans, Tucker apparently doesn't put too much stock in first impressions.

Darquavis Tucker's first visit to the Michigan State campus turned out to be probably the worst time for the Spartan program to make a first impression. It was night of December 3, 2003, when the Spartans welcomed the Duke Blue Devils into the Breslin Center before a packed house and a national television audience.

The Final Score: Duke 73, Michigan State 50

Lucky for the Spartans, Tucker apparently doesn't put too much stock in first impressions. Two years later, both he and the Michigan State hoops program remain very interested in each other.

Two weeks ago, Tucker was in East Lansing along with his high school team, Saginaw Arthur Hill, to participate in the 2005 Spartan Shootout. The event was a gathering of 62 of the top prep teams in Michigan and the surrounding region.

It is a chance for those teams involved to play the best of the best. It also provides a chance for the Spartan coaching staff a chance to get an in-depth, two-day look at some of the best hoop prospects in Michigan. Tucker was among the best players I saw over the course of that weekend, which wasn't a surprise because he has been doing a lot of that lately.

Darquavis is a member of the talented Michigan prep basketball Class of 2007; which includes the likes of, among others, Detroit Country Day's SG Alex Legion, Orchard Lake St Mary's PG Kalin Lucas, and Detroit St. Martin De Porres' SG Durrell Summers.

There is debate among scouts and fans alike as to who the best player in the class is, however there is little debate that Tucker is among those being debated.

While Tucker certainly know he has ability, that doesn't mean he is resting on his laurels.

"I really working on my three-point shot," Tucker admitted. "Most people know me for my dunking and stuff, but I wanna change it up. I'm also working on my defense and trying to improve there too."

When I spoke with Dar, back in early May, he said that the Spartans were still his favorite school of those vying for his services. When I spoke with him this week, that felleing hadn't changed.

"Michigan State is still my favorite," Tucker said. "Arizona, Missouri, UConn, Duke, and Wake Forest have contacted me too though.

"Michigan State has shown me the most attention, and they have been real cool to me. I've been down there and talked to a couple of players . . . (Kelvin) Torbert and Chris Hill."

While Tucker has yet to receive an official offer, there is little doubt that before the end of July, that will change. Darquavis will attended the highly regarded Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey (July 4-9), as well as the Reebok Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas (July 22-26).

Tucker's AAU team, the Michigan Hurricanes, is one of Reebok's top traveling teams. The roster of the 17 and Under squad feature the likes of Tucker, the aforementioned Alex Legion, as well as Saginaw Buena Vista PG Tory Jackson, Flint Powers C Tom Herzog and East Grand Rapids PG Kalvin Grady.

Tucker and Legion are, in most eyes, the best players on a team loaded with talent. They are each part of the 2007 class and play the same SG/SF combo position. Sometimes that can cause friction when there is only one basketball. Darquavis and Alex, however, seem to be above that type of petty jealously.

"Alex and I have a good friendship," Tucker says. "While we don't see each other too often, when we do we hang out and room together in hotels and stuff. We get roomed together all the time."

When you see the level at which both Dar and Alex play at, you have to kick yourself at times and remember that they are only going to be juniors next fall. That gives Michigan high school basketball fans plenty of time to get out and see both of them before they head off to college somewhere to continue their basketball careers.

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