Tucker remains questionable

Wisconsin's leading scorer has taken part in "modified practice" this week

MADISON – Alando Tucker's status is officially day-to-day for the No. 24 University of Wisconsin men's basketball team's game at Michigan Saturday, an athletics communications official said Thursday.

Tucker, the Badgers' leading scorer, injured his right foot Jan. 9 and missed Wisconsin's game versus Ohio State Jan. 11, but returned to play in UW's dramatic come-from-behind win over Michigan State Sunday.

Tucker, the Badgers' leading scorer, spent Wednesday evening's practice riding a stationary bike. He shot free throws and took part in a shot-fake drill Thursday in what UW coach Bo Ryan calls a "modified practice." The Badgers did not practice Monday and Tuesday.

"A coach has to deal with what he has," Ryan said Thursday. "So that's where my mind is. We're just working with everybody. If he can be on the floor, then great. If he's not, then the other guys will just have to pick up."

Tucker also took part in limited practice last week leading up to the Michigan State game, then played 26 minutes against the Spartans. Though he favored the foot, he was effective in spurts and contributed eight points and six rebounds before UW's medical staff insisted he be removed from the game with about three minutes left to play.

"If he can go he can go," Ryan said. "If he can't then we took him off the floor, which was pretty easy to see there at the end."

Specifics regarding Tucker's injury have not been released and Tucker has not been available for interviews since the injury occurred. The athletics communications representative, however, said Wednesday that a report in Sports Illustrated this week claiming Tucker had sprained his ankle was incorrect.

Tucker is averaging a team-best 15.4 points per game and is second on the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.

Wisconsin/Illinois game time changed to 8 p.m.

Tip-off for Wisconsin's Jan. 25 showdown with No. 1 Illinois has been changed from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the UW announced Thursday. ESPN will televise the game live from the Kohl Center with Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews providing commentary.

Ryan said he was consulted regarding the time change and agreed to it.

"It was OK with me No. 1 because I know a lot of people that have a tough time getting to the six o'clocks," Ryan said. "TV determined the six o'clock start. Eight o'clock was also determined by let's see, guess who? TV.

"But you know there are Wisconsin fans out there that I'm sure are really going to be excited that the time now no matter if they are on the East coast, West coast, wherever they are, that's a pretty good time."

Iowa nearly took some of the luster off of the Wisconsin/Illinois game, taking the Illini to the limit Thursday evening before losing 73-68 in overtime. Illinois is 19-0 overall, 5-0 in the Big Ten but will have to contend with a UW team that has won 38 consecutive home games.

"Got Michigan on Saturday," Ryan said. "That's all I care about."

UW has received more than 200 media credential requests for the Jan. 25 game, breaking an unofficial men's basketball record of about 160 set when the Badgers beat Illinois to clinch the Big Ten title two years ago.

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