basketball Edit

After visit, Auburn 'place to beat' for grad transfer Rayjon Tucker

AUBURN | Auburn made a big move this weekend for one of the country’s most-coveted graduate transfers.

Rayjon Tucker, a wing from Arkansas-Little Rock, left an official visit to Auburn on Sunday with the Tigers on top.

“I love it. I definitely love it,” Tucker said. “The people were very welcoming. Coach (Bruce Pearl) is great. Coach (Wes Flanigan) is great. The whole staff is great. Auburn is definitely more than I expected. Auburn is definitely the place to beat.”

Tucker, his mother and younger brother all arrived in Auburn Friday. They toured the campus and facilities, met with several players and coaches before leaving on Sunday.

“Auburn definitely has everything I’m looking for with the style of play, the coaching staff and how they let their guys play,” Tucker said. “With Bryce (Brown) and Malik (Dunbar) leaving and the possibility of Jared (Harper) leaving, it opens up some big spots for somebody like myself to come in and take on that role, be a big impact and get Auburn back to the Final Four.”

Tucker visited West Virginia last weekend and will visit Memphis (April 25-27), Iowa State (May 3-5) and Kansas (May 10-12).

“After those visits, that will probably be it,” Tucker said. “I’ll probably make my decision right after my last visit (Kansas). I want to know before the draft (May 29) so I’ll have something to fall back on if that doesn’t go the way I plan for it to.”

Right now, West Virginia, Memphis, Iowa State and Kansas are playing catchup to Auburn.

“Everybody at Auburn embraced me on the visit and I’m not even there, yet,” Tucker said. “The key word is ‘yet’. Auburn is definitely the place to beat. That’s based off the staff, the players I’ve met so far and just the atmosphere. I love it.”

Tucker, who started all 30 games as a junior, averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 41.1% from 3-point range.