MN Pregame: Anthony Tucker Transcript

Anthony Tucker spoke with the media on Tuesday for the first time since leading the Hawkeyes in scoring against Drake. Since then, he's played one minute in three games. The freshman spoke about his lack of playing time, his first semester grades, his illness and more. Read all about it in this premium transcript.

What do you have to show to get back on the floor for significant minutes?

Just play hard in practice, I guess. We haven't really talked about it or anything. We're playing great as a team right now, so I'm not really focused on it. I don't think the coaches are really focused on it; as long as we're winning games.

Was it mono?

Yeah, it was.

When did you come down with that?

I got diagnosed with it when we got back from Las Vegas. I'm not sure exactly when I got it, but that's when I was diagnosed.

Is that what was affecting you at Boston College, quite a bit?

I just had a lack of energy, I guess, do to that. I mean, I don't want to make any excuses, but…Yeah, it really affected my energy level.

That's an illness that can be stubborn and tough to get rid of. Are you still feeling the effects of it at all?

Um, I don't think so. It's hard to tell. But I'm not as bad as I was.

Did you lose weight?

Yeah, I lost about eight pounds.

There are antibiotics or something that you have to take routinely, right?

Yeah, I was taking cortisone pills to boost my energy level and just some other things to kind of clear out my system.

How challenging has this been for you, personally? You're the leading scorer for half the season and now you've barley played since then. How do you wrap your mind around that?

Um, I'm surrounded by great teammates and great coaches so it hasn't been too difficult. I just have to come to practice every day with a good attitude and focus on getting better and we're playing great as a team. So, it hasn't been too hard.

Did you and coach talk about whether he would say it was mono or not? Did he ask you at the beginning, "Can I tell anybody this?"

No, I really appreciate the way that he's handled everything. We never really sat down and talked about how he was going to handle it. It's just he's focused on winning basketball games as we all are as a team. He's trying not to let the personal issues conflict with that.

How do you contribute now being as you're not seeing playing time on game days?

Being a great teammate and helping guys get ready for the games on the scout team and stuff in practice. Then just being a great teammate on the bench during games.

Do you anticipate getting your starting job back at some point?

Um, I really don't know or have any expectations. Like I said, we're playing great as a team. We have great chemistry now and stuff. So, it's not really important to me.

What do you know about Minnesota?

They're an up-tempo team. We really have to focus on stopping them in transition, getting back and setting our defense and play well offensively and we'll be fine.

Do you know guys on that team?

Yeah, I know a few guys. Blake Hoffarber played at a rival high school that was actually located in the same town as us. I played against him, I can't even count how many times.

If you could pick one game on the schedule, since this is the only time you play (Minnesota this regular season), would this be the one you want to play?

Not at all. It's not any different for me than any other game. I don't have any special ties to it. They weren't my favorite school growing up or anything. So, it's just another Big Ten game that we have to win.

Did they offer you?

It's complicated. The first coaching staff (Dan Monson) did and then when the coaching change happened, Tubby recruited me but I committed (to Iowa) really before he had a chance.

How did you do academically first semester?

I passed all of my classes. There was one class that I struggled with. It was kind of a struggle towards the end of the semester. We weren't really sure. But I passed all of my classes.

Are you aware how much people on the outside are wondering what's going on with you?

I'm not, at all. I don't really pay attention. My parents don't really live here so my mom doesn't ready the newspaper or talks about it too much.

You don't think that academics or struggling in that one class has anything to do with you losing play time?

(Shrugs his shoulders as if to say he doesn't know).

So, you don't know?

I really don't.

Other than that one night, did the mono result in you being in the hospital at all?

No, it didn't.

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