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From Ypsilanti to New Brunswick: Rutgers men's basketball lands premier scorer Tyson Acuff

Eastern Michigan transfer Tyson Acuff is one of the nation's most outstanding scorers and was named Third Team All-MAC this season. – Photo by Jonathan Knight / Eastern Michigan Athletics /

Eastern Michigan transfer guard Tyson Acuff has committed to the Rutgers men’s basketball team. After losing six scholarship players to the transfer portal, up from last week’s count of five, courtesy of Gavin Griffiths announcing his decision to transfer on Thursday, the Scarlet Knights have finally found themselves on the positive end of some transfer news.

Acuff is entering his fifth and final season of college basketball after playing his first two years with Duquesne and his next two with the Eagles.

Acuff is one of the nation’s best scorers. This season with Eastern Michigan, he averaged 21.7 points per game (PPG), tied for seventh in the country. He shot 43.3 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from three-point range. Acuff was the primary scoring option for his team, as he was the only player averaging double-digit points. Rutgers struggled to score the ball this season — Acuff will provide an instant spark.

Acuff’s three-point shooting numbers from this past year are not particularly eye-popping for a team that desperately needs long-range shooting, but it is worth noting that his near-30 percent shooting clip was on approximately six attempts per game — a higher average of attempts than he would likely hoist with the Knights.

The three-point shooting percentage that should be highlighted is his 34.4 percent clip on five attempts per game in his other season with the Eagles. This number could be more telling of the translatability of Acuff’s shooting, as he was not the only scoring option in the 2022-2023 season with Eastern Michigan when he played alongside now-NBA forward Emoni Bates and now-West Virginia guard Noah Farrakhan, who averaged 19.2 PPG and 12.1 PPG, respectively.

With five-stars Dylan Harper and Airious “Ace” Bailey joining Rutgers next season and redshirt junior guard Jeremiah Williams set to return, Acuff will have far less of a scoring load on his shoulders and should see improved efficiency in his shooting splits. Acuff and Williams will each provide a veteran presence alongside the star-studded Knights recruiting class.

While he did launch approximately six three-pointers a game, much of Acuff’s scoring came at the rim. Nearly 30 percent of the 6-foot-4 guard’s shot attempts came at the rim, where he converted 66 percent of the time.

Acuff is mostly a ball-dominant guard, operating in isolation, dribble handoffs and as a ball handler in the pick-and-roll. In isolation, he scored 1.08 points per possession (PPP), which placed him in the 85th percentile of all players. On dribble handoffs and as the handler in ball screens, Acuff averaged 1 PPP and .91 PPP, respectively, placing him in the 67th percentile for the former and the 77th for the latter.

While he may play a bit more off-ball this upcoming season alongside Harper and Williams, Acuff should be effective in that, too, as he scored 12 percent of the time on spot-up opportunities, which places him in the 62nd percentile. Being a capable long-range shooter, Acuff should be effective in knocking down jumpers off Harper’s drives while also having the premier ability to pump fake and attack off the dribble.

Much of Acuff’s commitment can be attributed to Rutgers assistant coach Marlon Williamson. Williamson was previously an assistant coach at Central Michigan and has deep recruiting ties in the Mitten State. Acuff and Williamson both attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

Williamson already helped in receiving a commitment from class of 2024 forward Dylan Grant, who also hails from Michigan. Williamson also has the Knights in the mix for fellow Michigan men, five-star guards Trey McKenney and Darius Acuff Jr. Darius is Tyson's younger cousin.

For more updates on the Rutgers men’s basketball team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Camden Markel's work, follow @CamdenMarkel on X.

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