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Duke basketball freshman Jordan Tucker is transferring

Duke forward Jordan Tucker plays near the end of the game against Bowie State on Nov. 4. He has announced that he’s transferring fro the Blue Devils.
Duke forward Jordan Tucker plays near the end of the game against Bowie State on Nov. 4. He has announced that he’s transferring fro the Blue Devils. Chuck Liddy

Duke freshman Jordan Tucker is transferring, the school announced Sunday evening.

Tucker, a 6-7, 212-pound small forward, was a top-100 recruit coming out of Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler High School. He was ranked as high as No. 40, according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings.

But he didn’t get much playing time while at Duke. Tucker played in only two games this season. Both were blowout wins. He scored six points against Saint Francis on Dec. 5, but did not dress out in Duke’s last two games, including its most recent win over Florida State. He was listed on the game notes as having missed the game against Evansville because of an injury.

“It was pretty simple for me. I just needed playing time,” Tucker said in a phone interview Sunday. “Nothing negative. I just needed to play at the end of the day. And Coach understands it. It was a mutual agreement.”

Tucker said he wanted to thank Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for what he did for him.

“He taught me a lot about myself on and off the court. I’m grateful for the experience and being able to say I played at Duke. A lot of people can’t say that.”

Tucker said when he came to Duke his desire was to be a key player, but he fell behind in the rotation with the emergence of players like Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr.

“I don’t fit in that right now, and that’s fine,” he said. “That’s the way things go.”

Tucker said he hasn’t yet explored what schools he will transfer to.

Tucker was a late addition to Duke’s 2017 recruiting class. Before committing to Duke he was expected to commit to Syracuse. But Duke’s coaching staff made a strong push for Tucker late, after missing out on top recruit Kevin Knox when he chose to sign with Kentucky.

“We support Jordan and his family’s decision,” Krzyzewski said in a news release. “We appreciate his commitment to Duke during his time here. Jordan represented our program well and we wish him the very best moving forward.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for more updates.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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