April is the month where guys play themselves into the high-major recruiting spotlight as well as play themselves up the national rankings. One player that could do a lot of damage with the Spiece Indy Heat is Jamil Tucker. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound wing from Gary (Ind.) West High School is already in the rankings but he has the skills, physical traits and exposure to shoot up the charts in the next four weeks.
Mike Conley, Tucker's AAU coach with the Spiece Indy Heat, believes the big wing forward could have the same kind of ride Daequan Cook had this time last year after the Kingwood Classic.
"It happened with Daequan real quick last year after the Kingwood. After that tournament, everybody pretty much knew about him," Conley said. "I think Jamil can be the same way this year.
"I actually had a conversation with him about that. I told him people are going to see him on this stage. I told him to just play his best and he could be right up there. His upside is so great. He can even do more, not so much scoring but he's a really good passer and puts himself in a position to make things happen."
John Boyd, Tucker's high school coach at Gary West, believes the No. 87 ranked player in the country will only improve on the great junior campaign Tucker had.
"He had an awesome year," Boyd said. "His jump shooting is his best strength. He can shoot the lights out. We play him at the one, two, three, four and five. He's just a jack of all trades."
With his size, shooting touch and ability to consistently drill the long ball, it's no surprise that the high-majors are looking at the California native. In fact, Tucker wouldn't mind returning to his home state.
"He really wants to go back to the West," Boyd said. "UCLA is looking at him. Arizona is making a big push. Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, basically all of the Big Ten, Louisville, basically everybody but Duke and North Carolina are looking at him. He's being recruited by everybody."
Boyd said Tucker has been offered by Arizona, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin. More could be coming for the kid that put up 24.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game as a junior.
Tucker has not taken the ACT yet, says Boyd, and no visits have been planned.
Tucker will only shine with the likes of nationally ranked prospects Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Jr., Cook and Eric Gordon with the Spiece Indy Heat. They will play in the loaded Real Deal on the Hill on April 15-17 at the University of Arkansas. Rivals.com will be on hand for full coverage of the event.