Wednesday, May 30, 2007

UW's Tucker a Winner, but is He Good Enough?

Alando Tucker has the labels of Big 10 Player of the Year, 1st All American, Wisconsin's All-Time scoring leader. Unfortunately for him, all of those accolades are not enough to give him a most coveted label this time of the year: first round lock. In this years loaded draft, Tucker will have to sweat out the draft process while guys he outperformed in college go above him. There's a strong possibility he won't hear his name until Round 2. Whats wrong with the guy? Lets take a look at his game.

At 6'5'' 210lb, Tucker has good size for an NBA 2 guard. The problem is his best position is power-forward. Excellent athleticism; great leaper, fast running the floor, agile laterally. Good strength in the legs and upper body. Strong defender who consistently neutrlizes his man. Rebounding a bit dissapointing considering size and athleticism; earlier in his career he was a ferocious offensive rebounder but he seems to have cooled his feistiness there. Good on slashes to the hoop and can finish difficult shots in the paint. Charecter and attitude may be the best in the whole draft; charimatic leader on and off the court (he doesn't drink or smoke and has earned his college degree). With all that being, Tuckers offensive game is far too raw for a 23 year old 5th year senior prospect. Not a distributor. Handle is poor; he handles on par with the average NBA 4-man but remember he is 6'5''! Don't be misled by his FG%, his shooting mechanics are poor (trust the lousy FT%). He has a bit of a two-handed release and his ball is very flat. Has some deep range on his jumper, but is an NBA team really going to want this guy shooting from the perimeter? Gets his points on shots that generally won't be there in the NBA. Ultimately, the problem with Tucker is that he is a 4 in a 2's body.

For Alando Tucker to stick in the NBA, he will have to play dogged defense, crash the offensive glass, become a loose ball kamikaze, and stick the occasional jump shot. He has the athleticism and the intangibles to make it but does he have the skills? He must learn to play the role of specialist (his speciality being energy guy off the bench) after playing the role of college superstar at UW. He might be worth a gamble late in the 1st round, but my guess is he'll be an early 2nd round pick come draft night.

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