Tucker Regains Eligibility

Junior P.J. Tucker has regained his academic eligibility, Texas basketball officials announced.

Tucker was Texas' leading scorer (13.7 ppg) when he was declared academically ineligible to compete on January 19. That same week, starting C LaMarcus Aldridge was lost for the season with a hip injury. The Horns qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight season in coach Rick Barnes' tenure but lost to Nevada in the opening round.

"I'm happy to be back," Tucker said. "I know I let a lot of people down last year, most importantly my family and my teammates. But I need to say 'thank you to all of them for their support last spring and this summer. A lot about me has changed, and I'm anxious to get back to classes this fall and out on the court with the guys."

Tucker, recently named one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award honoring the nation's top collegiate player, finished his shortened sophomore campaign as Texas' second leading scorer and rebounder (8.0 rpg) last season. He posted five double-doubles and led the team in scoring in eight of UT's first 17 contests. Tucker missed the final 14 games last year (Texas went 6-8 over that span).

"I've always loved P.J., but I love and respect him even more now because of what he has gone through and how he's handled it," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "He's grown as much as any kid I've ever been around in terms of taking an embarrassing situation and turning it into a positive. It's amazing the turnaround that he's made."

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