I’m torn over on what stance to take on Iowa superfrosh guard Anthony Tucker. With his public intoxication conviction, a bout with mononucleosis, and now academic suspension this season; it seems Tucker has become more of a liability than asset for the Hawkeye basketball program. His inability to stay on the court and make a difference as well as his uncaring demeanor while playing basketball have become a concern for me in finding room to support Tucker as an individual. The young man seems to still be learning the ropes of adulthood yet has shown quite a lot of potential for the future. Shockingly, Iowa’s coaching staff decided to keep him on the team for which many media members felt was more for Tucker’s sake than as maintaining a needed piece for future Hawkeye success. I’m all for supporting supplying second chances to individuals. Some people just need more time to mature. It is possible that his mono caused Tucker to struggle with his classes and first time exposure to college life can always breed poor decisions. Therefore, if Tucker starts to show real determination and a more serious outlook upon his career at Iowa, I will support him. To see this though, I need observe some evidence that he is going to take his stint in Iowa City as a blessing rather than a roadblock to playing in Belgium or something.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Tucker put on some muscle for a start, the guy has girl arms for crying out loud. Not saying that I’m the cat’s meow when it comes to supplying a “gun show” but I expect a Big Ten starter to provide a little muscle tone to succeed in this gladiator conference. How can a Division One athlete get this far in playing a sport without gaining some body tone? If this is a perfect example of a lack of work ethic from Tucker, call this a reason for me to side on not giving this guy another shot at wearing the black and gold. Without added strength, there is no way this young player will be able to drive to the paint or create his own shot. I pray that his aloofness to conference games is not evidence of a dislike to the physicality of playing college basketball.
Further making Tucker’s transition to becoming a college basketball player, is the lack of leadership on this Hawkeye team. With youth sprawling up and down the lineup, juco transfers galore, and only two seniors remaining, it will take at least till next season for a true leadership hierarchy to immerge. Possible acknowledgement that he is not the best player on the team or the most liked could be causing Tucker’s questionable behavior. Possible petty behavior of this nature is should no longer be accepted, for its time for Anthony Tucker to discover teamwork and a will to help Iowa become a winning program again.