Bye-bye Anthony? Probably
You can just hear a cynical Drake fan now, can't you?
"Great. Anthony Tucker stays out of trouble at Iowa just long enough to help the Hawks beat us. Just our luck."
But this is no time for cynicism. Tucker's suspension from the Iowa basketball team after his second arrest for public intoxication in 13 months is a serious matter for the kid and another lousy break for coach Todd Lickliter. It came only hours after Tucker scored 17 points in Iowa's 71-67 victory over Drake at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Tucker, who at 20 hasn't even reached the legal drinking age in Iowa, needs help. Getting busted twice for public intox in a little over a year shows he's got a problem with alcohol. And for someone with an alcohol problem, it certainly doesn't help being in Iowa City, where the downtown bar scene is so available -- and so tempting.
Tucker may well bolt before anyone from Iowa has a chance to sit down and talk to him. If he does, let's hope the light bulb above his head goes on and he figures out a way to get some help. Maybe he'll stick around long enough that somebody at Iowa can say, "Here's some people or places who can help you. Give them a call and listen to what they say."
If he does seek help, maybe he'll be sincere about shaping up this time. All his earlier talk about lessons learned seems pretty hollow now.
As for Lickliter, geez, the guy just can't get a break. I don't know him. I got out of full-time work before he took the Iowa job, so I've never covered him. But he seems like an upstanding guy who plays by the rules and tries to do things the right way. I like his self-deprecating sense of humor. It's a refreshing change from his predecessor.
Yeah, his team doesn't play the most exciting brand of basketball. When the shots aren't falling, it's downright ugly. But Lickliter doesn't deserve what's happened to him recently. Four guys from last season left. A promising newcomer, Devon Archie, has been hurt and is yet to play. Lickliter himself had a scare when he was hospitalized for a torn carotid artery. And now one of his better players can't stay away from the sauce.
Tucker has some talent. For sure he can shoot it. If his Iowa career is over -- and that's probably the case --- there's always a coach out there who's willing to give a player one more chance. So it's a good bet Tucker will end up playing somewhere and helping that team.
It's just too bad he couldn't stay on the straight and narrow so he could do it at Iowa. That would have been good for him and definitely good for the Hawkeyes.