There have been rumblings that the 6’7″, 220 pound junior forward would never be a 3-year player for Butler since his arrival, but still, many didn’t see it exactly coming after Tucker averaged 8.9 ppg. and 3.8 rpg on 35% field goal shooting–including 35.7% from 3 point range in 30 games last season.
That’s not to say that Butler’s “Super Sixth Man” didn’t make significant strides last season–especially defensively and on the glass, but he still has work to do regarding his ball handling, finishing around the rim, and overall consistency from a game-to-game basis to make a successful NBA leap.
He was the highest rated player in program history to ever come to Butler following his transfer from Duke in 2017-18–rated #42 overall by ESPN nationally.
Having just lost soon-to-be sophomore Khalif Battle–their projected starter at shooting guard next year (following All-Big East guard Kamar Baldwin‘s graduation), the Bulldogs will now also have to replace their projected starting small forward (as senior wing Sean McDermott also graduated)—and maybe even next year’s would-be leading scorer, Jordan Tucker.
It fully explains why Butler has been incredibly active in the transfer market to-date, despite a week ago having no publicly open scholarships.
Now they suddenly have two scholarships readily available.
Butler does have a few talented perimeter freshman coming in such as Scooby Johnson, Myles Tate, and Chuck Harris along the perimeter, but as Battle showed last season, not all freshman are ready to come in and contribute consistently from the get-go–especially playing as an immediate starter in the Big East–with some big shoes to fill.
With three other projected upperclassmen starters next season: senior point guard Aaron Thompson, senior power forward Bryce Nze, and junior center Bryce Golden, Butler was projected to have one of the more experienced starting lineups in the Big East–especially with Tucker coming back as a senior.
Instead, there are immediate holes to fill for Butler at both starting shooting guard and small forward, meaning that landing some quality ‘play right away’ grad transfers could be key for the Bulldogs’ 2020-21 squad.
Update (8:44 PM EST): It sounds like Tucker has left open the possibility of returning for his senior year at Butler–depending on what feedback he receives from NBA scouts through the pre-draft evaluation process: