Tucker situation update

January 5, 2009

Iowa freshman guard Anthony Tucker remains the team’s leading scorer at 11.8 points a game. But he’s missed four of Iowa’s last six games and played just one minute for no points and two fouls at Ohio State.
Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter has offered little explanation about his decision to not play Tucker. Lickliter said today that other players have played well in Tucker’s absence. Tucker’s lack of playing time is not related to his suspension last month after an alcohol-related incident that led to a public intoxication arrest, which Lickliter said is “behind us.”
“The situation is coach’s decision,” Lickliter said. “Anthony also wasn’t just suspended, but if you remember the Boston College game when came we came back from Vegas, he was really under weather and missed practice and lost some strength and he’s really kind of recovering from all of that.
“It’s not like we played bad basketball in his absence, and that’s what happens sometimes. Devan Bawinkel has filled in and Jermain Davis has stepped up, and the guys have played well. (Tucker’s) minutes have been limited in that, and he’s just continuing to gain his strength back, work hard in practice and he’s available to us.”
So is Tucker still sick? Are there off-the-court issues? Are there on-court issues? Those questions remain, and Lickliter won’t divulge the entire reason for Tucker’s canyon-sized dip in playing time after several huge scoring games earlier this season.
“He’s a very bright young man and I’ve said this before, he’s a team guy and I have no problem with Anthony,” Lickliter said. “We can’t change things that happened, but we sure can learn from them. I know Anthony has.
“We’re very pleased he’s with us at the University of Iowa.”