Editor’s note: Waukee’s Tucker DeVries, the Register’s No. 1 in-state 2021 basketball prospect, announced on Monday that he will attend Drake. DeVries selected the Bulldogs over Creighton, Iowa State and Oregon. He explained his decision to the Register in this first-person account.
In the end, my recruitment pretty much came down to one thing: Did I, or did I not, want to play basketball for my dad in college?
Here’s the answer I landed on: Definitely.
I’m going to Drake to play with Dad. (You may know him as Bulldogs head coach Darian DeVries.)
Back when my dad got the Drake job a couple years ago, I didn’t know if I’d be good enough to play in the Missouri Valley Conference. I wasn’t quite as tall or athletic as I am now. Thankfully, I got a lot better. It’s always been a dream to play for him, so being able to fulfill that dream is pretty special.
Growing up watching my dad coach alongside Greg McDermott at Creighton, I saw Doug McDermott and coach McDermott do it, and I thought that was really cool. I thought what they were able to accomplish would be really cool to be able to try to do here at Drake.
Also, I love the guys already in the Bulldogs program. I thought I fit in really well with them and am looking forward to competing with them on the court.
We believe we can win a lot at Drake. That’s why I’m coming here. I feel like we can win and do some big things with the guys we have coming.
I want to get to the NCAA Tournament as many times as we can. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to get there. We’re more than capable of doing that. I feel confident in what we have going and the direction it’s headed.
Being the son of a Division I head coach, my recruitment was unique at times. It was a pretty surreal conversation when my dad offered me back in June 2019. I was taking a nap at the time, and was actually mad when he woke me up at first. Since then, though, it’s been normal between the two of us. We really didn’t discuss the recruiting process outside discussing other schools and what we liked and disliked about them. He wouldn’t try to persuade me one way or the other. If there was stuff Drake wanted me to see, assistants would contact me, not my dad.
I certainly had other great options to choose from, too.
At Creighton, coach McDermott, everything he’s done for not only me but my dad, none of us would really be here without him. He would have been another really great guy I could have played for. If my dad wasn’t my coach, I would have had a better relationship with Creighton than anybody else. Coach McDermott was really cool about it, though. Obviously he had a great experience coaching Doug, so he was really happy for me.
At Iowa State, coach Steve Prohm, ever since I started talking to him, he’s been a real genuine person. I would have felt just as comfortable going with him because not only is he a great coach, but he’s a great guy. With all the work and effort the Cyclone coaching staff put in, I couldn’t thank them enough for how much they genuinely cared and how passionate they were about it. I thought they did a great job recruiting me.
And at Oregon, I grew up around coach Dana Altman and I’ve known him since the day I was born, so he would have been a great fit. He was my dad’s first boss at Creighton and has remained very close with our family, and we wouldn’t be here without him, either.
But with my dad … it’s just different. I’m looking forward to competing with and for each other. It’s an experience that not a lot of sons have the opportunity to get.
I’m super excited to get started. Ever since I moved here, Drake fans and Des Moines have been really good to me and my family. I’ve made it my new home.
And I’m eager to stay here for another four or five years.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
Your subscription makes work like this possible. Join today at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.