Teammates No Longer

After raising the bar for Wisconsin basketball together, NBA rookies Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor compete against one another in the NBA's annual Summer league

Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor, former Badger teammates, concluded their 2007 NBA summer league action Sunday. The two found themselves on opposing benches for the first time in four years. Taylor and the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-1) beat Tucker and the Phoenix Suns (1-4) 84-81 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tucker, who played in all five games for the Suns, scored 13 points on 6-for-13 shooting Sunday. Taylor played in his second game of the summer and recorded one shot attempt in just over three minutes of play.

In five summer league games, Tucker, a former UW All-American, averaged 17.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 32.4 minutes of play. Throughout the summer league, Tucker lead the Suns in minutes, something that's not that different from his time at Wisconsin.

"[The coaches] like how I'm playing," Tucker told the Suns official Web site. "They like the energy I'm playing with at both ends of the court, and they like that I'm not trying to force any shots. At the same time, they want me to be more ready to shoot the ball. Once I get it, I need to take the shot that I have open. I have the ability to knock down the score, so they want me to exert myself a little bit more on offense. At the same time, they feel I'm playing steady."

Even so, Tucker knows that he's still a rookie and that he has a lot more things to work on to adjust to the fast-pace NBA game, especially the offense the Suns run - an offense that is a drastic change from Bo Ryan's swing offense.

"[The NBA is] a big adjustment from college," Tucker said. "I think any rookie coming has to have good consistency with the three-point shot. But the way the Suns use it, and the way Steve Nash sets up plays, I'll have to be open and ready. I'll be open. Look at Raja Bell and some of those other guys. They're open and Steve Nash does so well with the ball, I have to be ready to knock it down."

On the other hand, Taylor was rarely used during the summer league. Taylor saw his first summer league action Saturday night as his Timberwolves beat the Memphis Grizzlies 102-91. Taylor played 10 minutes, missing the only shot he attempted, but added two rebounds and two assists.

Taylor only saw action in two games, totaling 13 minutes.

Tucker and Taylor will now continue workouts and camps for their respective teams as roster sizes continue to be reduced in the upcoming months.

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