Grad transfers Holyfield, Tucker make choices, pass on KU

Kansas University basketball recruiting

The Kansas basketball team’s 2019 recruiting class was dealt a pair of blows on Saturday, when two of the Jayhawks’ targets announced their commitments to other programs.

Both of them graduate transfers, T.J. Holyfield decided to move on from Stephen F. Austin to join Texas Tech and Rayjon Tucker opted to leave behind Arkansas Little Rock to play at Memphis.

The 6-foot-8 Holyfield announced his decision via Twitter, writing in part, “I’m happy to announce I’ve committed to the 2019 Big 12 Champions!”

A 6-5 guard, Tucker considered entering the NBA Draft before choosing Memphis over KU, Auburn, West Virginia and Iowa State.

Offseason shoulder surgery sidelined Holyfield the enitrety of this past season. He averaged 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds at SFA in 2017-18. Holyfield had narrowed his choices to Tech, KU and Illinois.

Tucker stood out as a 3-point shooter and scorer during his final season at Little Rock, connecting on 41.4% from downtown while putting up 20.3 points a game and averaging 6.7 rebounds.

While the experience of Holyfield, who was considered more of a long shot for KU, and Tucker could have made them valuable additions at Kansas, Bill Self’s Jayhawks still have options in the Class of 2019, and high profile ones at that.

After signing Dutch forward Tristan Enaruna earlier this week, KU remains in the hunt for and is considered by national recruiting experts to be one of the favorites in the recruitment of both five-star point guard R.J. Hampton, who recently reclassified to join the 2019 class, and 6-9 five-star forward Precious Achiuwa.

Currently with three players in its class, KU has signed Enaruna and fellow four-star prospects Christian Braun and Isaac McBride.

by TJ Holyfield

by Rayjon Tucker

Comments

David Robinett

We’ll be just fine.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Sam Meyer

Agree with David. Holyfield and Tucker weren’t necessarily the players we wanted to end up with. There are bigger fish to get.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Shannon Gustafson

Holyfield was a backup plan for Silvio (if we don't get him back we needed Holyfield, if we get Silvio back we don't need him). Tucker was the PERFECT player to fill our void. We need a shooter, an upperclassman, and an athlete. He checked all of those boxes and he's proven he can do it at the D1 level for 3 years. We'll be fine but there is only one "bigger fish" and there is no guarantee we get him, or that he'll be better than Tucker next year.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

The article lists 2 freshman "bigger fish", though at different positions. Silvio is still the biggest fish. Unfortunately, a decision in his case is far more fickle than any HS player's. And then there are Coach Self's rabbits. He always seems to pull one out of his hat late in recruiting.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Gerry Butler

Ummm , Tucker is one that we wanted very much - -would of made a HUGE difference - -big time miss , very talented - -but still like has been said , one way or another w will be fine. - -Saw just a few minutes ago Todd from Iowa is in Lawrence today. - -Solid player averaged little over 9 points a game - -takes good care of the ball - -a career 3pt shooter right at 40%

3 months, 1 week ago

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Andy Godwin

“I’m happy to announce I’ve committed to the 2019 Big 12 Champions!” Folks, that was meant as a direct slap in KU’s and Self’s face. Will remind the senior transfer that KSU was also “the 2019 Big 12 Champions!”. Like it or not there is a new sheriff in the Big 12 (elite 8 and N.C. championship game in three years) and Self will need to knock Beard off his horse if he wants to re-establish himself as the top dog. If the highly rated HS recruit goes Beard’s way, it will show KU’s dominance in the Big 12 might be over and the 2018-2019 was not an anomaly.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Andy Godwin

The KC Star reported that KU might have stopped recruiting Holyfield (potentially because of the Enaruna signing), so he might have an axed to grind: a player to watch next year in TTU-KU matchups.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Gerry Butler

Holyfield didn't even play last year due to injury/surgery - -we shall see how he bounces back. - -There might be a reason they backed of him - - MAYBE - - just MAYBE they are feeling better about the reversal of Silvio's appeal - - have been hearing that the staff is feeling better about the situation. Have no idea why just some smoke been hearing

3 months, 1 week ago

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Steve Corder

The Enaruna signing changed the recruiting dynamics.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Craig Carson

what Beard has done is nice and all, but what he has done in 2 years Self has been doing for 16+...gonna take a lot more than a good 2 year run to unseat Self and KU as the team to beat....

3 months, 1 week ago

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Joe Baker

Tucker to Memphis almost guarantees Hampton to KU. TT and Beard have a shot, but with Tucker, they will be a little crowded. Hampton could come into KU and compliment Dotson at point.

I hope to hear Hampton to KU soon! I think with Big Mac and Doke, Holyfield will not be a factor. It will be even more so if SDS is eligible. Our bigs will be arguably the top front court in the nation.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Craig Carson

seeing as how Tucker and Hampton are both 1 year rentals, either one choosing KU wold have been nice....Hampton to KU would seem to be the best fit..but guess we'll just have to see..Id hope KU can at least sign 1 more player

3 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Bowles

My hope is, the KU athletic dept. rides the NCAA hard for a reversal on DeSousa's case, before he passes the deadline the end of this month and stays in the draft. They should assign a pesky individual to call the NCAA office at least 4 times a day and try to get a resolution. Silvio, would be our ace in the hole next year, because he is totally committed to Kansas basketball. Not many, if any, would have sat the bench all season and waited. Preston didn't.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Tim Orel

I agree, but Preston had (IIRC) 90,000 reasons why he didn't stay and Silvio only about 2500.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Michael Terry

There remains too much uncertainty about which players are returning next year. Once that shakes out all the pieces for KU will fall into place. Yes, it's nice to have 12 solid players, however, truth be told only 8 maybe 9 will play significant minutes. Grad transfers want to make an immediate impact. If Dotson and Grimes come back along with Hampton, I didn't see either graduate transfer playing much at all, at least not nearly as much as they will at Texas Tech or Memphis respectively. Even if Grimes doesn't come back, I'd rather take on a project player like, aka Ochai Agbaji, to develop rather than one year graduate transfer, a la Stash in the Pan Jack Whitman. The Jayhawks will be just fine. If Silvio is granted eligibility then we are going to be even more dangerous next year.

3 months, 1 week ago

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John Strayer

Grime's ain't coming back...

3 months, 1 week ago

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Bee Bee

Good.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Barry Weiss

lol

3 months, 1 week ago

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Michael Terry

Looks like I called it right. Jalen Wilson has reopened recruitment with KU in the mix.

3 months ago

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Michael Terry

I wonder if Self will go after Jaylen Wilson out of Denton, Texas, now that University of Michigan coach John Beilein is leaving for the NBA. He had us on his final 6 before choosing Michigan.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Craig Carson

hadnt thought about that..KU should give him a call..worst thing he could say is he is staying put and going to UM

3 months, 1 week ago

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Stuart Corder

Honestly, I think Tucker chose TTech because it’s the current Big XII champion and he will be replacing the key component on that team, whereas KU can anticipate Grimes returning.

3 months, 1 week ago

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Layne Pierce

The fact that we lost out to Memphis and Texas Tech, is quite likely a harbinger of good news.
We really are close on Precious and R. J. Now if only Silvio would be let out of prison.

RCJH

3 months, 1 week ago

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