West Virginia transfer addition Tucker DeVries excited for challenge of playing Big 12 basketball

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Tucker DeVries knows a thing or two about being the best player in his conference. But don’t take his word for it -- ask the folks who named him back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year during his sophomore and junior seasons.

However, he now prepares to enter what is routinely regarded as one of the top basketball leagues in the nation as he joins the West Virginia roster and is set to see his first season of Big 12 action this fall.

DeVries stopped in for an interview on Monday night with WVU media outlet Hoops from the Hills, where he talked about the upcoming challenge of playing with the best in the nation.

"Obviously it's a really good league,” he said. “You look at the transfer classes some of these already really good teams are bringing in, it's going to be highly competitive.”

DeVries understands that this isn’t a league where you have many -- if any at all -- easy victories on the schedule. In fact, he considers the opposite scenario. Not only will no victory be automatic, but it's likely he’ll have to lead the Mountaineers against numerous Top 10 programs next season.

“I think that you go up and down the league and there's certainly no automatic wins in this league,” he said. “Then on top of that those top four or five teams every year are teams that are probably the top four or five teams in the country.”

DeVries said that he is looking forward to the “nightly competitiveness“ as he describes it, and is excited for himself and his teammates to be able to test their craft against the elite of the sport. However, he said teams should expect WVU to come into league play aggressively after a historically tough season resulted in a coaching change and rebuilt roster.

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We’re going to have a chip on our shoulder trying to prove something and I'm really looking forward to it,” he said. “To be able to play in some of the best atmospheres in college basketball against some of the best coaches, the best players -- it's really the best of the best in the Big 12…getting to experience this for my final year will be exciting.”

While he mentioned opportunities such as playing in Allen Fieldhouse and even at his home team’s raucous WVU Coliseum as potential highlights in terms of atmosphere and excitement, there is one game he really hopes ends up on the up-to-now unreleased conference schedule -- and it has a connection to DeVries home in the midwest.

“I really hope we get to come to Ames just because it's 40 minutes away from where I'm at now,” DeVries said of a potential road trip to Iowa State. “Being able to play in Hilton --  I grew up close to it and being able to experience that and have a lot of people around for a road game.”