After the tragic accident involving assistant coach Howard Moore, we didn’t know how the Badgers could replace him. In July of 2019, the Badgers made the move to bring back Badger legend Alando Tucker. Tucker was one of the most beloved Badgers basketball player of all time. Winning Big Ten Player of the Year in 2007 and being named Consensus first-team All-American.
Tucker seemed to be a perfect fit for this Badger staff. Right away he seemed to really take guys under his wing like Micah Potter, Aleem Ford, and D’Mitrik Trice. There was hopes that Tucker could be on the staff long term and maybe even be a head coach some day. However, Tucker will not be back for the 2021-2022 season and the falling out seems pretty ugly.
Jeff Potrykus Article
The talented Wisconsin Journalist, Jeff Potrykus had an interesting article this afternoon. He mentioned in his tweet that he spent weeks talking to people, all to find out ‘the story isn’t pretty”.
Coach Greg Gard has not yet commented publicly on why Tucker will not be back this season and Tucker has declined all interview requests. However, according to Potrykus, sources close to the situation said he was not brought back because Tucker had plans of undermining Gard to become the head coach.
According to these sources, Tucker went as far as to tell Barry Alvarez his plans to replace Gard in the 2019-2020 season amid struggles. However, Alvarez made it very clear to Tucker that he had no plans of replacing Gard. These sources concluded that it seemed as if Tucker wanted to advance his own career. Whether or not that came at the expense of Coach Gard or the Men’s Basketball program.
Feelings of betrayal and being speechless were the reactions to this news. In a time where there were so many challenges for this group, including those of COVID-19. Instead of unifying the locker room, Tucker brought tension. He used his close friendship with the players to his own advantage and plan against Coach Gard. For example, a source said Tucker would tell one player to ignore the coaching points of a fellow assistant in charge of that player’s position group. Ultimately, you have to feel for the seniors here. During such a tough season, to have a coach you though you trusted try and ruin the program is heartbreaking.
On April 7th, Tucker was assigned to a committee to help find a replacement for Alvarez. Two weeks later, Tucker applied for the full-time assistant position. However, he was told by Gard he would not get the job. As a result, Tucker remained on the search committee and was lobbying for Wisconsin to hire Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier.
Frazier had previously worked at UW in 2007, and even worked closely with Alvarez from 2011-2013. Tucker had the idea that Frazier would remove Grad and consider him for the position. Ultimately, as we know Wisconsin went with Chris McIntosh.
Did Tucker leak the infamous conversation?
After a 15-point loss to Iowa, the seniors met with the coaching staff to discuss the season. This was reported to be a very heated and emotional conversation. With both players and coaches voicing their frustrations with each other. In what was supposed to be a private conversation, someone recorded it. Then, a heavily edited version of that audio was sent to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Considering this was a small private conversation, the list of potential suspects is short.
As a result, It isn’t a stretch to think perhaps he was the one who recorded and leaked it. This could have been an effort to try and make Gard look like the bad guy. While showing how his players didn’t trust him nor respect him.
The Badgers will be headed into next season with a fully new roster and it is exciting. As a result, there will be tons of fresh new talent on the court and on the sideline. In addition. the Badgers will replace Tucker with Sharif Chambliss, who played at Wisconsin in 2004-2005 and worked as the video coordinator from 2010-2012.
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Nothing we didn’t suspect from the get-go, as far as the tape. Most thought Tucker was just after the permanent assistant position. His rejection for that position keyed the suspicions about the tape. Too bad. It will be tough for his career. But this brings to mind a game when Tucker was playing, when Kamron Taylor hit a winning 3-pointer from the right wing, with Tucker on his left, open for a shot. A photo at floor level from that sideline, showing Taylor getting mobbed by his teammates and everyone celebrating and smiling, also showed Tucker standing back, away from his teammates, with nothing close to a smile on his face. Just a stare and a sullen look as he was walking toward the bench, never joining the celebration. I interpreted his actions with being upset that he didn’t get the last shot. Perhaps that was an insight into his mindset as a team player, and if so, it certainly carried forward.