Gary Tucker on Duquesne Basketball

We had the opportunity to speak with Duquesne alum Gary Tucker this week. This is the first article from that interview and since Aaron Jackson's contract was announced Wednesday, it covers Mr. Tucker's comments about the Duquesne team.

To recap, about 10 days ago former Duquesne guard Gary Tucker signed a contract for the upcoming season with Science City Jena of the German Pro A League.

Gary will be heading over the pond to German next Tuesday, August 4, 2009. He said generally he's been okay with playing in Europe, but one day the impact of all this hit and he got a little excited.

"Bryant (McAllister - DU '06) helped calm me down." he said. "You know he played in Germany last year."

"I was disappointed I didn't end my Duquesne career on a better note," Tucker said. In his senior season, 2007-08, the Dukes had their first winning season (17-13) in 14 years.

"We had the talent but never got the chemistry," Tucker added. "That was a lot different from this year's team (21-13 and a trip to the NIT). They were already friends well before the season started."

Asked if the Pittsburgh Pro-Am summer league was the catalyst, Gary said, "No. They were like that when they first got here (for summer school)."

Tuck and fellow guard Reggie Jackson played all four seasons of college ball together, first at Southern Union College in Wadley, Ala., and then at Duquesne. Jackson played in the British Basketball League in 2008-09, but is unlikely to return.

"Reggie has a new agent," Tucker said. "England was a one-year deal. Teams from Austria and Spain are interested."

We also talked about Aaron Jackson. Discounted by the league coaches and media in the 2008-09 preseason votes, Jackson completed the year as a first team Atlantic 10 Conference selection and was named the conference's Most Improved Player, an honor also given to Tucker's classmate, Kieron Achara, in 2005. Achara played in Italy this past season.

"Everything A.J. did he did here before," Gary said. "The difference maybe was his leadership as the only senior. The young guys bought in quickly 'cause they saw everything all were asked to do by the coaches, Aaron was already doing." Jackson's signing with Antalya of the Turkish Basketball League was announced Wednesday.

Gary said one thing wrong about his Duquesne experience was he only got to play here two years. "I wish it was four," he said.

Tucker wanted to add his thanks and appreciation to Coach Ron Everhart. "The other coaches (i.e., former assistants) promised to help me when I got to Pittsburgh." he said. "They didn't but Coach Everhart really did. I owe a lot of my success to Coach, as a basketball teacher and as a person."

More from this interview in our next installment.

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