Rayjon Tucker to stay in NBA draft weeks after committing to Memphis

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Penny Hardaway may very well be building a monster at Memphis, but the construction lost one of its bigger pieces Wednesday.

Rayjon Tucker, a graduate transfer from Little Rock who committed to Memphis earlier this month, will remain in the NBA draft rather than join the Tigers, according to Jon Rothstein.

The 6-foot-5 Tucker was one of the top transfers on the market after averaging 20.5 points per game as a junior, and he looked like the experienced piece to Hardaway’s talented-but-youthful roster that will have major expectations next season. Instead, he’ll likely try to be a second-round pick and make his way from the G-League next season.

It’s a blow to Memphis, but Penny and the Tigers still have one of the best recruiting classes in the country, led by No. 1-ranked James Wiseman, so the expectations are still going to be into the stratosphere without Tucker. Maybe even a little too high, according to our Rob Dauster, who slots Memphis as a loser in his early entry scorecard.