Tucker was named Big Ten Player of the Year and was a consensus First-Team All-American in 2007.[/media-credit]In the past decade, Wisconsin athletics experienced a Final Four berth, a dynamic Rose Bowl appearance and four combined national championships from the men’s and women’s hockey teams.And the Herald Sports Badger of the Decade wasn’t a part of any of that — making his accomplishments even more impressive.Alando Tucker earns our Best Badger of the Decade Award for his record-setting career, consistent dominance and overall effect on Wisconsin basketball.First the r?sum?:? Tucker became the first Badger to be a consensus First-Team All-American since 1942, and he was a finalist for every major national player of the year award.? Named Big Ten Player of the Year his senior season, Tucker led the conference in scoring at 20.0 points per game — the first-ever Badger to lead the league.? Finishing his career with averages of 16.5 points per game and 48 percent shooting, he topped Michael Finley his senior year to become the all-time leading scorer in Wisconsin history.Much like the swing offense on which he thrived, Tucker’s game wasn’t always pretty, but it was almost always effective.Utilizing power post moves that belied his 6-foot-5 frame and a turnaround jumper uglier than Betty herself, Tucker could score from anywhere on the floor and often did. For style points, his ferocious dunks could bring the Kohl Center crowd to its feet in an instant.Like his place at the top of many UW records, however, Tucker will always be linked with earning the basketball team a No. 1 ranking during the 2006-07 season — the first-time ever in the history of Wisconsin basketball. Even though the ranking was short-lived (UW lost two games the following week), it represented an unprecedented achievement for Wisconsin and proved Bo Ryan’s team could compete with all the five-star recruiting classes out there.Honorable mentions: Fellow basketball superstar Devin Harris, women’s hockey Patty Kazmaier-winners’ Sara Bauer and Jessie Vetter, along with football’s John Stocco, an underrated Badger quarterback.Harris has proven to be the better pro, starring in the NBA, and was certainly a phenomenal Badger. Leaving for the draft a year early, however, knocks down his rating, especially considering the starting five UW would have had if Harris came back with Harris, Tucker, Mike Wilkinson, Kammron Taylor and Zach Morley. Wow.Bauer and Vetter certainly excelled with career records and championships, but the weaker competition pool in women’s hockey keeps them at honorable mention.Finally, Stocco certainly won enough games and kept Wisconsin a perennial top-25 team, but the lack of dominance holds him back in the end.
Talking BynumNick Young hasn’t followed Andrew Bynum’s lone season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also said he wasn’t aware that Cleveland suspended Bynum indefinitely Saturday for undisclosed conduct detrimental to the team.But the mere mention of Bynum’s name prompted Young to laugh as he recalled their lone season together last year with the Philadelphia 76ers, a year that featured Bynum sitting out the entire time because of lingering knee issues.“He just does his own thing,” Young told this newspaper. “Bynum is going to be Bynum no matter where he goes. He doesn’t care what people say or think about him.” Young mentioned Bynum’s eccentric hairstyles and worsening his left knee injury while going bowling in the middle of the season. Still, Young argued that Bynum received unfair criticism from Sixers fans who believed that he didn’t show enough interest in overcoming his injury.“He’s hurt. He’s somebody who has been playing games with bad knees,” Young said. “He’s trying to get back each game. In Philly, they’re tough. They were on Bynum everywhere he walked.”Bynum helped the Lakers to two NBA championships through seven seasons before being traded in 2012 to Philadelphia in a four-team, 12-player deal that brought them Dwight Howard. “He tried to get back, but he wasn’t right last year,” Young said of Bynum. “It was probably good for him to sit out.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Within a week, the Lakers went from having too many frontcourt players for coach Mike D’Antoni to juggle to suddenly having very little at all.Both centers Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman are considered game-time decisions when the Lakers (13-17) host the Philadelphia 76ers (8-20) tonight at Staples Center.Kaman suffered a moderate sprain in his left ankle in the final minute of the Lakers’ 105-103 loss Friday to the Utah Jazz. Gasol sat out two of the past four games because of an upper respiratory infection. D’Antoni said neither of them practiced on Saturday.Gasol hasn’t spoken to reporters since a visit with an eye, nose and throat specialist on Thursday showed his respiratory illness worsened. Kaman didn’t talk on Saturday, either, but he appeared downtrodden about both his injury and sitting in 13 of the Lakers’ 30 games. “I have no approach,” Kaman said Friday after posting 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ loss to Utah. “I get shuffled around so when it’s my turn, I try to take advantage of the opportiunities I’m given and it’s not easy.”D’Antoni offered some encouraging words about Kaman’s health.“It’s pretty favorable,” D’Antoni said. “He feels better about it. The swelling’s not too bad.”If neither Gasol or Kaman play, Jordan Hill will likely start along with Shawne Williams. Robert Sacre would likely receive significant minutes off the bench. Both Hill and Sacre stayed after practice on Saturday working on post drills with Lakers player development coach Larry Lewis.“You just have to stay mentally prepared,” Sacre said. “Obviously it’s tough. You never know when you’re going to go in. But you have to make sure you’re ready to go. When your name is called, you have to be prepared.”