After a semester on the sidelines, Anthony Tucker returned this summer to the PTL with a focus on playing point guard. Transfers require the sophomore to spend some time at that spot this coming season. Read a scouting report on how he's looked the last few months.
The eyes of Hawkeye Nation basketball fans turned to Tucker after Kelly and Peterson transferred. Lickliter announced that Tucker would be his point guard for the team's overseas trip. Depending on the progress made by Payne leading up to this season, Tucker could find himself starting at the point when the season opens.
Tucker seemed serious about this point guard thing during the PTL season. The Minnesota native ran the spot almost exclusively and really did a nice job. He played composed and didn't force things. Yes, he looked poised. Tucker also found a way to help himself to shots when they where there. His outside stroke looked as beautiful as ever. His range stretches to the parking lot and his release is lighting quick. I saw glimpses of Tucker's ability last season to get to the basket, a trait I think is understated. He continued to do that in the PTL with his deceptive burst and knowledge it's set up by his threat from the outside.
Tucker also showed a tendency to fall out of the flow of the game last season, and that continued to be the case, though not as often, this summer. The PTL usually boasts some fast lead guards, and Tucker struggled with the quick guys at times, particularly on the defensive end. When Tucker does let up, it tends to be on defense and that is something that will raise the hair on the back of Lickliter's neck. Like many guys on this team, Tucker will lose the battle of athleticism with many opponents.
Tucker impressed me a lot this summer. I could see why the Iowa
coaching staff feels like he can handle the point guard position. He's not flashy at all, but he's solid for this system. He's a smart player that makes the most of his natural talent. He must play hard all of the time, however. Iowa is going to need that out of him this season and anything less than full effort will cost him dearly.
Editor's Note: This is the fourth installment in a four-part, scouting report series on Iowa players from the PTL. To read scouting reports on all 11 '09-10 Hawkeyes, please pick up a copy of the September issue of Hawkeye Nation Magazine, due on news stands in early to mid August.