Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


One: Not so lonely for Wisconsin’s Tucker

[media-credit name=’JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]MBB-vs-Iowa-058-JS[/media-credit]One point — just one single point.

That's all Wisconsin senior forward Alando Tucker needs Saturday to become only the second player in school history to record 2,000 career points when the No. 4 Badgers (23-2 overall, 9-1 Big Ten) host the Iowa Hawkeyes (14-10, 6-4).

Even though a single free throw will put him next to Michael Finley in the UW record books, Tucker is more concerned with helping his team win another Big Ten game than achieving his personal milestone.


"It's going to mean a lot, especially when it's all said and done," Tucker said. "Right now, I'm going to take it and run with it. … I have too much that I'm trying to think about.

"I'm just pretty much going to be focused on the game, trying to win, because Iowa's going to be a tough opponent."

And while Tucker's milestone will also be something special for his teammates, they too are focused on defeating Iowa Saturday.

"It's an extra point for us on the scoreboard," said UW senior guard Kammron Taylor about the one point Tucker needs to break the 2,000 point mark. "With Alando, it's all about winning games and he's just going to do whatever he has to do to help the team win. It'll look even better if we get that victory."

In the Jan. 28 meeting between Wisconsin and Iowa, the Badgers handily defeated the Hawkeyes 57-46 in Iowa City, Iowa. At the time, Iowa had been playing rather inconsistent. But since then, UI has caught fire and is currently on a three-game winning streak.

"Iowa's been playing pretty well since we've played them," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said.

Hawkeyes senior guard Adam Haluska's bounce-back from an off-shooting game against the Badgers (3-of-18) has been the biggest reason for Iowa's recent surge.

Against Michigan Jan. 31, Haluska recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to help Iowa rally to a 69-62 victory, despite an 11-point halftime deficit.

Then last Saturday, he poured in a game-high 33 points as Iowa upset Indiana 81-75 — just one game after the Hoosiers upset the Badgers.

Most recently, Haluska scored 34 points in Iowa's 91-78 win at Minnesota Wednesday — his fourth 30-plus point performance of the season.

Even though the sharp-shooter had a rough outing the last time against Wisconsin, the Badgers know Haluska still has the ability to score in bunches, made evident in the Hawkeyes' last three wins.

"[Haluska] never stops moving," said UW guard Michael Flowers, who will be guarding Haluska, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 21 points per game. "His teammates do a really good job of screening him and setting him up for open shots so I'm going to have to bring my 'A' game on defense."

The Badgers also know Haluska will be aiming to get off to a better start against Wisconsin this time around.

"Haluska, I'm pretty sure, is not going to shoot the ball like he did when we played them at Iowa," Taylor said. "He's shooting the ball pretty well right now.

"He's been putting up real big numbers. … He's just hungry right now so we're just going to have to do a good job of containing him."

Another Hawkeye who will be hoping to have a better game against the Badgers is freshman forward Tyler Smith. Last time against Wisconsin, Smith didn't hit a single field goal in the first half and finished the game shooting 3-of-17 from the field.

But since then, Smith and the young Hawkeyes have begun to mature.

"It's taken a little bit of time for some of that youth to grow up a little bit, but I think that's what you're seeing now," UW assistant coach Greg Gard said of an Iowa team that has nine underclassmen on its roster. "They're starting to take advantage of some of the experiences they had from early games this year."

As Iowa remains on the bubble for an NCAA tournament bid, Wisconsin players are also very aware of what this game could mean for the Hawkeyes.

"Some people would say that they need a marquee win [to make the tournament], and I'm pretty sure they're looking at us as a marquee win, especially on our home floor," Taylor said. "They're going to come in here hungry and give it all they have."

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