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Redemption is on Badgers’ minds

first_imgIt may have been adrenaline, or it might have been redemption, but it was apparent that Alando Tucker could play through pain.Tucker, who suffered a nasal injury toward the end of the first half against Wake Forest, sought vindication by scoring 24 points in the second half, the most by any player in that half. Tucker also reached the millennium milestone Tuesday by achieving 1,014 career points.”Honestly, I don’t even remember [how it happened]. It was during the course, and there was a bunch of bodies,” Tucker said of his injury.”It wasn’t Halloween, so I think he was wearing it for a reason,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “It didn’t improve his looks any. I think he is a pretty sharp-looking guy.”Due to his injury, Tucker will sport a protective facemask Saturday when Wisconsin (4-1) hosts Pepperdine (2-1).Tucker started the second half of the Wake game wearing a protective mask, but quickly threw it to the side of the court for its lack of comfort.”[The facemask] is something that takes time to get used to, but I’ve adjusted quickly,” Tucker said. “Once you get going, you can’t tell.”Injury aside, Tucker and the rest of the Badgers will also seek revenge against the Waves after they suffered a 75-61 loss last season.Though the Badgers may have suffered from cross-country jetlag on their journey to Malibu a year ago, they will hold the advantage by hosting the Sunshine State team at the Kohl Center.”It’s always good to play in front of your home base,” Tucker said. “It will be a great opportunity for us to get a lot of confidence, building some things that we can prepare for the Big Ten season.”Along with Tucker’s appearance, the Waves will also sport a new look after losing four of last year’s top scorers. The Pepperdine foursome was also the top-four point-scorers during last year’s match up, accumulating 62 combined points against the Badgers.”Obviously, they are a different team,” Tucker said. “They lost four of their key guys. Their style is going to be the same. They will come in up-tempo, shoot shots and hope to get offensive rebounds. Last year, they outworked us, and we never like to admit we’ve been outworked.””We didn’t play very well last year, so we definitely want to come out and have a better performance against them than we did last year,” sophomore Jason Chappell said.Chappell, who redshirted last season and thus never played in last year’s game, has been on a roll as of late, scoring a career-high 11 points in Tuesday’s game.”It felt good to be out there, especially being where it was, at Wake Forest, where my dad used to play,” he said. “It felt good to be out there and contribute and try to help the team win. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.”Chappell also saw the most minutes of his career (24), something he feels will benefit him come Saturday.”Any minutes we get out there means more experience,” Chappell said. “It also helps me feel more comfortable on the court.”Along with Chappell, sophomore Brian Butch had a stellar performance at Wake despite the loss. During the game, Butch recorded a career-high 10 rebounds and put up 19 points. It was the first career double-double for the 6-foot-11 big man. Butch is now third on the team, averaging 15.4 points a game. Tucker leads the team with a 20 point-per-game average, followed by Kammron Taylor, with an 18.4 average.Michael Gerrity leads the Pepperdine team with 17.3 points a game. Pepperdine has been hurting most of the season, winning only one game against UC-Irvine. Pepperdine did have a close run against Connecticut, staying with the powerhouse most of the game. However, the Huskies were able to pick up momentum during the last five minutes of the matchup and ended up defeating the Waves 75-56.”They can play. They proved that last year,” Ryan said. “They have had a little bit of an up and down season, but there were nights when they looked really, really good and nights that the other team looked a little better.”Right now, everyone is trying to find out what their team is all about and what they are going to bring to the table come conference season. We know they can play, and they are not coming here for anything other than trying to get it done for their side, too.”Added sophomore guard Michael Flowers: “We are just going to go out there and try to execute our game play and get the win. We are just going to play Wisconsin basketball.”last_img read more

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TENNIS : Freshman Marrow adapts to college game, finds niche in No. 6 position

first_imgWhen her father was laid off from his engineering job, Aleah Marrow’s parents were left with minimal money to send their daughters back to private school. Marrow’s mother, Anna, turned to the idea of homeschooling as a way to balance her daughter’s difficult travel tennis schedule with academics.Marrow traveled an hour and a half each way to practice with her coach in Fayetteville, N.C., during the week. In addition, there were lengthy trips to tournaments on the weekends. Keeping that balance was difficult.But Marrow loved the chance to spend a majority of her time on the tennis court.‘I’ve always wanted to play professional tennis,’ Marrow said. ‘I still do and I still think I can do it and become a really great champion one day. I always felt that in my heart I had a dream and a goal, so I set out to do what I had to do to put in work at a young age.’Marrow has emerged as the anchor of Syracuse’s singles lineup at the No. 6 position this year. The transition from being homeschooled and practicing with her sister to playing at a Division I program was a unique and challenging experience, but Marrow has finally found her niche on the tennis court as she reaches the conclusion of her first year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith an astounding work ethic and a long journey onto the courts at the Drumlins Tennis Center, Marrow has become one of SU’s most consistent threats. She has won 24 total matches in her freshman campaign and has currently won six consecutive singles matches.Marrow was coached by her sister Amanda for three years of high school, at a court down the road from their house. The sisters would wake up and practice for three hours, take a break and practice three more hours in the evening.But Marrow never wanted to stop. The sisters trained six times a week, and even on their day off Marrow wanted to hit the ball for at least an hour.Once, Amanda walked off the court, marking the end of practice for the day. But Marrow was so mad at the abrupt ending that she threw her racket to the ground. It was the only time her mother had ever seen Marrow throw her racket.‘Aleah is very hard working,’ Amanda said. ‘There were times when I wouldn’t want to practice and Aleah would. Aleah would want to stay out there all day long, and I would want to go home.’The transition from minimal professional training to Syracuse head coach Luke Jensen’s demanding and structured practice environment was a challenge for Marrow. She was used to practicing when she wanted, performing the drills she wanted and receiving limited coaching in game action.Anna believed her daughter would have rather played professional tennis than go to college. But after seeing Jensen and Syracuse compete, the opportunity to get a degree and further learn under Jensen was more enticing.‘I think that she would have forgone college to play tennis,’ Anna said. ‘She met Coach Jensen a few years ago, and it started to sound appealing to what college could offer her.’Marrow’s extreme self-confidence makes her a viable threat in the Orange lineup. The velocity on her serve is dangerous, but Jensen said there are still some gaps within her game that need to be filled. There are times Marrow looks to force certain shots during improper moments of games, but if she is able to hone in on certain skills, she could be as dynamic as any player Jensen has ever coached.‘She has to get more consistent,’ Jensen said. ‘She’s got big weapons and sometimes they hit the mark, and other times they hit the fence, the coaching staff or her partner. That’s youth. Crazy, wild and uncontrolled youth.’Jensen began recruiting Marrow three years before she completed high school. Marrow aspired to become a professional tennis player. She was the No. 1 ranked player in North Carolina in the 18-year-old division at the age of 15.Now those talents Jensen saw years ago are coming to fruition in Marrow’s first season with the Orange.‘I think she’s the most gifted player we’ve ever had here, in all aspects,’ Jensen said. ‘She’s the complete athlete. She’s bigger, faster and stronger than anyone we’ve ever had. She’s never had traditional tennis training, and she kind of just put it together.‘Her and her older sister were just out there playing without guidance. And she was winning matches, which is phenomenal.’[email protected] Published on April 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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