2010 D-League Dunk Contest February 15, 2010 Los Angelesí Dar Tucker showed basketball fans that he, not the Lakersí Shannon Brown, is the best dunker in the city of Angels. For his final dunk, Tucker leapt over 6'11" Brian Butch before throwing it down.
Austinís Alonzo Gee was the runner-up, beating 2009 collegiate dunk champion Tony Danridge and former Memphis Grizzlies swingman Trey Gilder.
Gee was concise in his praise of Tucker, ďHe jumped high.Ē And then added, ďI had a lot of fun and Iím glad I did it.Ē
[Read Full Article] D-League Showcase Scouting Reports January 9, 2010 One of the more intriguing players here from a pure potential standpoint, Dar Tucker was fairly up and down in his two games at the Showcase, showing many of the problems that led to him being undrafted (by the NBA) this past summer. A super long and athletic undersized shooting guard, Tucker just doesn't have a reliable jump shot, but plays as if he does. His numbers on the season (37% FG, 16% 3PT, 63% FT) show you just how big a toll his poor outside shooting takes on his efficiency.
On the bright side, Tucker does have some good scoring instincts and can be a terror attacking the basket, which led to some nice finishes here. He also shows a lot of potential defensively, and will make use of it on occasion.
Tucker still appears to be a ways away from contributing at the NBA level, and there's a reason he's coming off the bench and averaging just 21 minutes per game for a D-League team. As has been repeated many times, Tucker will need to become a more effective outside shooter and decision maker before he takes the next step as a player, but if he does, he could likely find himself a niche in the NBA. [Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: This Year's Shooting Guard Crop April 27, 2009 -Dar Tucker used the second most possessions of any player on our list at 22 per game, but ranked last in PP at .81. Obviously, his shot selection leaves a ton to be desired. The fact that he was under the average efficient in virtually every category we measured raises some huge red flags. His most notable weaknesses revolve around the fact that he cannot dribble with his left hand, is an extremely poor perimeter shooter, relies way too heavily on his shaky pull-up jump-shot, and only scored on 1/3rd of the possessions he used. Obviously the terrible team he played for at DePaul had a lot to do with his struggles, but Tucker didnít do himself many favors with the way he conducted himself. [Read Full Article] Blogging through the Conference Tournaments March 11, 2009 A player weíve watched pretty closely the past two days has been DePaul sophomore Dar Tucker. A 6-4 monster athlete who recently declared his intentions to test the NBA draft waters this spring, Tucker is a player we need to pay extra attention to. He was in foul trouble for most of the first half against Cincinnati, but then put on a pretty impressive performance over the next three halves, finishing with 17 points and 8 rebounds against the Bearcats, and then 30 points and 8 rebounds in a loss to Providence.
It is pretty obvious why Tucker is considered an NBA draft prospect, at least using a pretty loose definition of the term. Heís a long, chiseled and incredibly athletic shooting guard who puts a ton of pressure on opposing defenses with the aggressiveness he shows when he attacks the rim. He gets to the free throw line at a great rate and has finished some extremely acrobatic shots in the paint, showing a great first step, terrific leaping ability, and the ability to hang, take a hit, and still finish strong amongst the trees. He makes big plays all over the floor with his ability to grab rebounds and come up with blocks and steals, proving to be both extremely unpredictable and highly entertaining over these first two days.
Unpredictable would be a good way to describe Tucker in other ways as well, as you never quite know what you are going to get from him on any given possession. Tuckerís decision making can look downright atrocious at times. He repeatedly settles for tough, contested 3-pointers and pull-up jumpers, despite the fact that he only converts 28% of his shots from behind the arc and 27% of his off the dribble attempts (from anywhere on the floor), according to Synergy Sports Technology. Tucker shoots an astounding 6.4 attempts from 3-point range per game, which constitutes 40% of his overall shot attempts, and tells you quite a bit about how poor his shot-selection is. It may also help explain why DePaul lost 18 Big East games in a row going into this tournament. He ranks 6th amongst all players in our database in field goal attempts per-40 minutes, despite possessing a fairly marginal skill-level, leading many to label him as a selfish player. One scout here affectionately began to call him ďChucker-TuckerĒ, which tells you just about everything you need to know.
As a slasher, Tucker is outstanding going to his right in a straight line, but continues to be mediocre attempting to change directions with the ball or drive left, often looking like an out of control freight train in the process. His ball-handling skills clearly need work (with his left hand in particular), as he averages twice as many turnovers as assists.
Defensively, Tucker has terrific tools to get the job done, but often looks completely disinterested is putting the effort in on this end of the floor, gambling excessively for steals and generally showing poor fundamentals. He can make an impact as noted as a rebounder and in the passing lanes, but for the most part canít be considered anything more than an average defender.
Tucker obviously has excellent potential, but has an incredibly long ways to go before he can be considered a solid basketball player. His approach to the game and overall mentality would need an overhaul before heíd be able to see playing time in the NBA, but thatís not something you could rule out in the long-run. Itís questionable how much better Tucker is going to get by staying at DePaul for the next two years, but heís no sure thing to get drafted either if he decides to keep his name in the pool this year. Ultimately Tucker may have to play in Europe for a couple of years under a good coach before trying to make the NBA. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part Two: #6-10) October 27, 2008 Tucker quietly established himself as one of the top freshman in the Big East last season in terms of production, while also showing quite a bit of long term potential. The graduation of scoring guard Draelon Burns will certainly open of more opportunities for Tucker (and fellow sophomore Mac Koshwal for that matter) to increase their scoring outputs by a decent amount.
Tucker surely does not possess ideal size for his position standing only 6'4, though he compensates for it as well as he can through his outstanding athleticism and explosiveness. His ability to get off the ground allows him to consistently get his shot off against taller defenders, and likewise on the defensive end, his strength enables him to not be vulnerable to being posted up.
The biggest asset that Tucker brings to the table besides his athleticism is his ability to put points on the board in a hurry. Averaging 13.9 points per game in only 23.6 minutes of playing time, he ranked 4th amongst all returning sophomores in points per 40 minutes. The self confidence in his ability to score can also hurt him at times, though, through poor shot selection and over-reliance on his three point shot (over 45% of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc).
Regardless of his quick trigger, Dar is a player who can keep defenders honest by scoring in a number of ways. Taking the ball to the rack is the strong point of his offensive repertoire, where he has proven capable of finishing with either hand in traffic around the rim and adjusting his body in mid-air around defenders. Not an outstanding ball-handler, the Michigan native relies upon his explosive first step to get by the opposition off of the dribble. He favors going right quite a bit, driving that way 85% of the time when attacking the rim. Also, he appears to be a quite poor passer when it comes time to finding open teammates.
Though Tuckerís shooting percentages may not reflect it, he is a good enough shooter to consistently keep defenders honest. Getting the ball off quickly and with a nice release point, he showed some serious flashes of perimeter shooting potential down the road. Capable of shooting on the move going both ways, he is just not a standstill shooter like many young players. Tucker has also shown the ability to shoot the ball from mid-range off of the dribble.
There is plenty of room for improvement for Tucker on the defensive end. He has the length, lateral quickness, and desire to be a very good defender down the road. However, he just isnít there yet right now. Tending to raise out of his stance too easily, he leaves himself open to be penetrated upon against less athletic players. Also, he struggles quite a bit guarding players who utilize many screens. It is clear that there is potential for him on this end of the hardwood, but he needs to solidify his fundamentals before that can happen.
There will be plenty of opportunity for Tucker to have an impressive year on an inexperienced Blue Demon team. Certainly a player that NBA scouts will be paying close attention to, heíll probably need to spend a couple more years in the NCAA before bolting to the NBA. A strong season statistically in the Big East might open some eyes, but winning more games would do him even better most likely. [Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/20/08-- Part One February 21, 2008 Despite a rocky season thus far for Depaul, there is plenty of reason to be hopeful for the future if you are a Blue Demons fan, thanks to the exploits displayed by athletic freshman Dar Tucker. While by no means as heralded as many of the other members of this talented freshman class, Tuckerís success hasnít exactly been a complete shock either. Ranked #45 in the class of 2007 by Rivals, the swingman has made an immediate impact despite playing only 22 minutes per game. Currently he ranks 8th amongst all freshman in scoring per 40 minutes adjusted pace at 22.9 points.
Even at this early point in his career, the question of what position will he play is being asked of Tucker. He primarily lines up as a small forward for Depaul, but his frame clearly makes him a candidate to play the off guard spot at the next level. Even as a two, though, he is somewhat undersized at just 6í4Ē, and as a 31.1% shooter from beyond the arc, he will need to improve his perimeter shooting to be considered a consistent scoring threat. What Tucker does have going for him is his tremendous athleticism. He has an explosive vertical jump, great open floor speed and a terrific first step.
Tucker is a versatile offensive player, getting his touches in a variety of scenarios. A lefty, Tucker has nice form on his shot and a quick release; if defenders lose him behind the arc for even a second he will fire away. While his form is encouraging, his tendency to force shots isnít. Tucker attempts over five three-pointers per game, and as previously mentioned is only a 31.1% shooter from deep. From what we see of his mechanics he has all the makings of being a solid threat from the outside, the biggest key now is learning when to shoot and when not to. Tucker has a tendency to force a lot of contested shots rather than looking for a better option.
The majority of Tuckerís shots come when he is attacking the basket. He shows some nice ability to pull up from mid-range, able to combine a quick first step with the ability to stop on a dime. Tuckerís ability to change speeds typically gives him all the space he needs to get off his shot. He is equally as dangerous when he decides to attack all the way to the rim. Tucker is explosive enough to elevate with almost any defender in the country when he gets a head of steam going. He exhibits great body control and fair touch around the hoop. What is really holding Tucker back though are his rudimentary ball-handling skills, being unable to go left on a consistent basis, and not looking very advanced with his shot-creating ability. Despite possessing the ability to be a lights out finisher around the rim, he does struggle at times since defenders can play him to his right side.
At this point, Tucker is at his most dangerous in the transition game. He struggles a little bit with his ball-handling skills, so you wonít often see him leading a break, but he is a constant threat when he is able to get out and run. He shows a real knack for knowing when his teammates are going to come away with defensive rebounds, and when to leak out of the pack. Tucker is a big time finisher when teammates get him the ball on the break. It isnít uncommon to see him pull off windmill jams when he is ahead of the defense, and it isnít often you see a player of Tuckerís size be at the receiving end of so many alley-oops.
Where Tucker has been surprisingly impressive this season is on the offensive glass. He averages less than five rebounds per game, but two of them come at the offensive end. Tuckerís 3.6 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes is a testament to not only his athleticism but his hustle as well. Tucker is the type of guard that defenses canít ignore on the perimeter when shots go up. On many occasions where defenders havenít boxed him on the outside, he has come flying down the lane for a tap in or emphatic put-back dunk.
Defensively, Tucker has room to improve. As is common amongst physically talented freshman, Tucker has a tendency to get a little overzealous and thus more seasoned players are able to exploit his aggressiveness. He does a fairly good job of closing out on perimeter shooters, but inexplicably he often flies out with his hands at his sides, not actually contesting the shots. He also has a tendency to look a little out of control, so often a head fake is enough to shake Tucker when spotting up. DePaul has played a decent amount of zone this season, but from what we have seen of Tucker, in man-to-man situations he shows promise. He has good lateral quickness, excellent length and active hands, but has a tendency to lose his defender sometimes. Tucker also struggles sticking with his man coming off of screens, especially when his man fades back to spot up.
At this point Tucker is caught somewhere between athlete and basketball player. He already shows polish in certain aspects of his game, particularly with his shooting mechanics, the key now is improving his decision making. Clearly Tucker is already showing the potential to be a big time scorer at the college level, and heís doing it against strong competition. His most recent offensive outburst came against Louisville in a game where he dropped 22 points in just 25 minutes of play. No matter how many points he scores, though, Tucker is always going to have doubters because of his size. His perimeter shooting will have to improve since it is unlikely he could make a living as just a slashing guard in the NBA with his undersized frame. For now though, there is plenty of potential already being shown for Tucker to emerge as a top flight backcourt player in the Big East next season. [Read Full Article]