Two of UW's standout players, senior Sharif Chambliss and sophomore Alando Tucker, are returning to the team after suffering injuries that continue to limit their full capabilities. The duo, however, is cleared to take the court when practices begin Saturday.
NCAA regulations limit coaches' work with players outside of the season and primarily during the summer, so checking up on rehab process of players is extremely limited. However, strength and conditioning coach Scott Hettenbach is one coach that was able to keep an eye on Tucker and Chambliss. He worked with them on their strength and conditioning throughout summer workouts and helped monitor their rehabilitation.
"They were limited a little bit based on their injuries, Sharif especially at that point in June because he was still really rehabbing from his surgery," Hettenbach said. "‘Tuck' on the other hand really came along a lot further. They were probably doing 90 percent of what everyone else was doing but there were certain exercises that we had to modify or change for them along with doing their rehab work with [trainer] Henry [Perez-Guerra]. But those guys were here the whole time and they're feeling good."
Taking into account both players are yet to be a full 100 percent, both were limited in their hill runs at Elver Park—the major test in preseason conditioning. However, Hettenbach and the rest of the staff were more than pleased with how they handled the challenge.
"They're doing great," he said. "We had a plan going into that with the medical staff and the coaches on specifically what we wanted to do with both those guys as far as the hills and our individual workouts and exactly how much each was going to do. There was a gradual progression over the course of the preseason leading them up to this Saturday when both will be cleared and ready to roll for us."
Considering the summer is the only time the men's basketball student-athletes are allowed to leave campus for an extended period of time—whether it is to go home, travel or work outside of Madison—Hettenbach was extremely pleased to see all members of the men's team in town this summer working out in the weight room under his tutelage.
"Our guys were here all summer," Hettenbach said. "Everybody was here. It's voluntary but everyone knows that in order to get better as a group, they stay here. So most of the guys take class or they're working, or both and then we're working out in the mornings at 6 a.m. four days a week and they get together in the evenings on their own after class or work and they play here three or four times a week.
"They make a commitment to be here the entire summer and train when a lot of other athletes are gone during that time—that's their time off. That's a big commitment for them to come up here, financially and as a time commitment."
Tucker, Chambliss cleared for practice
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