Coaches watch Tucker at Texas Classic

StateFans had a few insider eyes in Houston for the Texas Classic AAU basketball Tournament watching some of the top NC State prospects, including PG Enrico Tucker. The reports from the field indicate that "Rico" has become a hot commodity amongst the college scouts.

Since January, StateFans and the Insiders have reported that NC State, LSU, Arizona, Gonzaga, Tennessee, San Francisco, San Diego, and Oregon are all trying to get a foot hold in the recruitment of Enrico Tucker. From our sources at the Texas Classic, you can add Georgia, UCLA, Arizona State and Indiana to that list. The following are a few observations and analysis of the post Classic positioning.

Ernie Zeigler
UCLA: Assistant Coach Ernie Zeigler was at all of Rico's games and our sources say Ziegler thinks he has a presence to his game that you can't teach. He really likes him a lot.

Analysis: While the draw to UCLA is obvious for the San Diego native, you have to wonder how big a priority Rico is for UCLA. They have already offered Jordan Farmar, yet no offer to Tucker. UCLA was all over Farmar watching each game. I imagine the Bruins are quickly falling behind for Rico's services as the Pack, Gonzaga and others continue to turn up the heat.

Dennis Felton
Georgia: It was rumored at Houston that new Georgia head coach Dennis Felton wants Rico bad as they are in desperate need for a 2004 PG. The Georgia Staff shadowed Rico throughout the tournament making their presence known with their white polos with monogrammed red "G" in what seemed to be every corner of the gym.

Analysis: Starting 'Dog PG Rashad Wright will be a senior this year, so Georgia obviously needs to find a replacement from the class of 2004. The attention they showed Rico had to score points, however, you have to wonder how the NCAA hammer that's about to fall on the Georgia program will affect not only Rico but all UGA prospects for the next couple of years.

Mike Davis
Indiana: Hoosier Coach Mike Davis has taken an interest in Tucker as well. They are concerned about the distance between San Diego and Bloomington like many schools east of the Rockies.

Analysis: Distance is not an issue according to previous interviews I have done with Rico and his family, so in my opinion, that makes Indiana a strong player in the recruitment. The Tucker's are looking for a quality team that graduates their players. Indiana meets both criteria.

Tony Benford
Arizona State: ASU say they need a 2004 PG and did spend time evaluating Rico in Houston. Assistant Coach Tony Benford made an impression during the tournament, as did most of the coaches that followed Rico through the tournament.

Analysis: The Sun Devils return PG Jason Braxton and have 2003 PG Tron Smith inked and ready to go. Available playing time could play a factor here. This one is still early but the Sun Devils could make a run with the draw of the Pac 10 being a factor.

Larry Harris
NC State: Coach Larry Harris made his away around the gym in Houston as well. As the Wolfpack reputation goes in basketball recruiting, no one will out work Sendek and his staff for a recruit. It was obvious that Harris enjoyed watching Rico's performance against the Long Island Panthers as his excitement was evident when Tucker hit a runner in the lane and drew a foul with 5 seconds to go in regulation to take the lead.

Analysis: The Wolfpack have positioned themselves nicely in the hunt for Tucker. From the first time that Coach Harris evaluated Rico until now, they have made their desires known. Coach Sendek has told the Tuckers' that the Pack has extended offers to three PGs from the class of 2004. The first to pull the trigger will be the Pack's PG of the future. Rico is one of those three.

Finally, do not expect a decision anytime soon by Tucker. He plans on waiting to take his official visits in the fall so he can meet the incoming players from the class of 2003.


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