Tucker refreshed: R & R makes good

Sophomore forward missed two days of practice to rest his body

MADISON—It was not an injury that kept Alando Tucker from practicing Sunday and Monday with his University of Wisconsin men's basketball teammates. Rather, Tucker simply needed some time to recover after the Badgers' season opener Saturday.

"I did that on behalf of the trainers," Tucker said. "They just wanted me to take some time off because they said it looked like I was a little bit sluggish at times. Just wanted me to get my legs back up under me. I think that helped a lot this game."

Tucker looked very fresh Tuesday evening against UC-Santa Barbara, playing a team-high 36 minutes and contributing 16 points and seven rebounds in Wisconsin's 72-61 win. Tucker scored eight points in 28 minutes Friday against Penn.

The two games were Tucker's first since missing almost all of last season with foot injuries that forced him to take a medical redshirt. He said Tuesday the time off Sunday and Monday had nothing to do with those injuries.

"It's fine. It's just the body's still adjusting from sitting out all year and not being active in the summer—that really didn't help me at all," Tucker said. "My body is still trying to adjust and this is a period that I may have to take a couple days off in order to get to full strength."

Tuesday, the Gauchos would have liked Tucker to take some more time off. The 6-foot-5 forward was very active around the rim, sliding down to the block throughout the game against UC-Santa Barbara's compliment of athletic forwards.

"Against some teams he's going to get more of that than against others," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "This was one of those in the matchup where he was able to find the creases and get in behind and shoot the gaps. And the guys found him. I thought we made some pretty good post feeds. Twenty-seven field goals with 17 assists: that was good recognition by his teammates. And he was stronger on his finish tonight."

Tucker has practiced as a wing forward this season, playing primarily the ‘3' and some ‘2'. Tuesday he slid to the ‘4' at times, a position he played during his true freshman season.

"I have to be versatile because a lot teams, especially as we move to the West coast, they have some very quick forwards and me being able to work around, I should be able to do that," Tucker said. "I have a year of that experience. That's still an option. He'll [Bo Ryan] be able to move me down there."

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