INDIANAPOLIS — UConn redshirt junior Morgan Tuck will go out as a champion. The forward has decided to forego another year of eligibility and enter the WNBA Draft.
The announcement came Wednesday morning when Tuck called into ESPN’s SportsCenter where she said she will not be returning to UConn.
Tuck’s future had remained unclear all season. She had the option of declaring for the WNBA Draft or returning to UConn for a final year of eligibility. Tuck received a medical redshirt in her sophomore season after just eight games, because of a knee injury.
On Wednesday when the Huskies returned to Gampel Pavilion for a championship rally, they also inducted Tuck into the Huskies of Honor. Tuck’s name will be in the rafters of Gampel Pavilion along side her teammates Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart.
Tuck thanked the fans and her teammates for their support and said it was special to be up there with the teammates she started this journey with.
Tuck had 24 hours after her final game to make the decision to go pro according to WNBA rules. After a 82-51 victory over Syracuse and her fourth national championship, the final chapter in Tuck’s career at UConn has been written.
Tuck bounced back well from surgery during the 2014-15 season, but she always dealt with nagging knee pains.
“It’s definitely hard with injuries but my teammates did a great job of keeping me encouraged and always making me feel like I was part of the team,” Tuck said after the national championship game. “So even when I wasn’t able to be on the court I still felt like I was there helping.”
Tuck put together a great season in 2015-16 and it comes as no surprise she is ready to take her talents to the next level. Tuck was named a 2016 WBCA All-American after averaging 13.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game this season.
The 41st player in UConn history to join the 1,000-point club, Tuck was named to the all-conference first team in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Tuck was also named to the NCAA all-tournament team after another strong tournament.
In this national championship she scored 19 points. This followed up a great performance in the national semifinal win over Oregon State where she made a career-high four three-pointers on her way to scoring 21 points.
Tuck was the perfect compliment to Stewart in the post. Auriemma has said time and time again that Tuck does “the dirty work.” UConn will be a completely different team next year with Tuck deciding to leave along with Stewart and Jefferson.
“With these three leaving, the rest of the players coming back — they are in for a rude awakening,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said. “We don’t have anybody in the program right now that is a Stewie, Tuck or Moriah coming back. It will be one of the bigger adjustments in that time that I’ve been here, but it’s OK I’m kind of looking forward to it.”
Now that Tuck has decided to leave Auriemma and Storrs, the Huskies will obviously be faced with the tough task of trying to replace the production of the most accomplished trio in school history.
Spencer Mayfield is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.