Chavis: Interview with P.J. Tucker

<i>IC</i>'s J.B. Cissell caught up with Raleigh (NC) Enloe's P.J. Tucker, after he posted 16 points and eight rebounds on Tuesday night in the Chavis League.

What made you decide to participate in this league?

"There's a lot of competition. There are ex-NBA players, NBA players, players from Europe – just a lot of good competition."

Do you feel like that will help prepare you for college?

"Yes. It will get me ready to play against bigger guys and get stronger."

It seems like you have come out of nowhere to make a name for yourself recently. Would you say that?

"I'm trying to."

I've seen you listed at several different heights. How tall are you really?

"Six-five, and one-half."

Even at that height, you seem to play exlusively down low.


Your first score of the game was a pivot, drop-step, and a hook shot. Is that how you play most of the time, or is that because you were playing against bigger guys tonight?

"It's mostly because on teams I play on I'm one of the tallest dudes on the team, so I play down low. That's my strong point playing down low. But I know I'll have to play on the wing when I go to college, so I want to learn that too."

You said at the Tournament of Champions that one of the schools that you'd like to recruit you, that was not recruiting you at the time, was North Carolina. Have any of those schools shown any interest?

"Actually, they [Carolina] have. They've spoken really highly of me. Like once a week I talk to them. Others are Kansas, Clemson, Maryland, and Kentucky.

One of the criticisms of you is that some of the things you are able to do in high school, you won't be able to do in college. But it looks like you had some success tonight against guys who have played in college, are in college, or will be in college.

"I don't listen to that. It's just bad criticism, right there. I can take it and move on, but I just think I can do anything."

Do you have a timeline as to when you want to make a decision?

"I really don't have a timeline. Hopefully, I can make my decision in August – after the nationals, the Super Showcase, and the Nike All-American [Camp]. After that, hopefully, I can make my decision."

Is it possible that you could wait if the scenario you want doesn't present itself at that time? Could you wait until November or into the spring?

"Yes, it's very possible."

What schools are on the top of your list, right now?

"Probably Kansas, Carolina, Maryland, and Clemson."

What about Wake Forest?

"They are still recruiting me pretty hard, but I look at it like they have a lot of people at the position where I'll be playing. They recruited like four or five to play the two, three, and four positions – that's new guys, not including the ones they already have, so that was looking kind of shady."

What position will you play in college, or does it not matter?

"It doesn't really matter. Where ever coach puts me on the floor is where I'll play – just as hard as I can."

Will you take some visits before the end of summer?

"I've taken unofficials to almost all the schools in North Carolina, and I went to Richmond to visit those two schools – VCU – and looked around there."

It looks like you are above that level of basketball, now that you've been playing well. You are looking at big-time basketball – ACC, Big 12, on that level ...


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UNC showing interest in Tucker

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