Hawks Keeping Up with Iowa Central Guard

When Anthony Tucker asked for and was granted a release from his Iowa basketball scholarship this week, it opened up an opportunity for someone else. If Iowa chooses to use the ride next season, a name on its radar is Iowa Central guard Kurt Alexander. HI.com caught up with Central Coach Dennis Pilcher to gauge the Hawkeyes interest and find out about Alexander's recruitment.

Dennis Pilcher chuckles when asked to categorize sophomore guard Kurt Alexander.

"I guess I'd call him a one and a half," the long time Iowa Central Community College basketball coach said. "We play him on the wing the majority of the time. But if there's full-court pressure, we have him bring it up the floor."

Alexander's star is rising since dropping 43 points on Kirkwood Feb. 3 in a 94-71 rout, during which the 6-foot-1 guard connected on 16 of 22 shots from the field and all eight attempts from the foul line.

"His recruitment really has picked up since that game," Pilcher said. "That picked it up big time. I can't even count how many Division I schools have contacted me and been through here since that happened."

Iowa paid a visit to Fort Dodge last week to check in on Alexander. The Hawkeyes had a scholarship open up on Friday when Anthony Tucker asked for and was granted a release from his ride.

"I think they're interested," Pilcher said.

Northern Iowa, Wichita State and Creighton also have driven through Fort Dodge in recent weeks, Pilcher said. Cal-State Northridge, North Dakota and North Dakota State also have shown interest in Alexander.

"We're going to wait until after the season (regional tournament ends March 7)," Pilcher said of Alexander's recruitment. "I'll have him sit down and take a serious look at the schools he's interested in and we'll go from there. But our season comes first."

Pilcher said that Alexander is averaging about 19 points, six rebounds and four assists per game this season. The Tritons are 20-7 after beating first-place Ellsworth on Saturday.

"He's the type of guy that plays well in transition and likes to get the ball up and down the floor," the coach said. "He's good at getting the ball to the basket and finishing. I'd say he's an above average three-point shooter, but it's not his strength.

"He has made tremendous strides as a player since he's been here."

The Tritons don't run and gun. It's a disciplined system with a motion offense and man-to-man defense.

"If the numbers are there, we'll get out and run," Pilcher said. "But he's used to playing in the half court with us and it's one of his strengths."

If there is an area of Alexander's game that needs work, it's on the defensive end.

"He's an average defender," the coach said. "He's got a long ways to go, which is typical of a kid that came out of high school as a scorer.

"But he can do it. He's capable. He's strong and has the lateral movement to play on or off the ball."


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