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Interview with Cliff Tucker

Today's advance on Maryland's game tonight against N.C. State took a look at reserve guards Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie, two players who could play vital roles for the Terrapins off the bench as they continue through ACC play.

Both Tucker and Bowie had far more to say than I was able to include in the story, and so I would like to share with you more of the respective interviews that I conducted with the two of them on Friday.

Below, you will find more quotes from my chat with Tucker. In a little while I will post more quotes from my interview with Bowie. Both players were very open in discussing the up-and-down seasons that they've endured, as well as how they've appeared to turn things around of late.

Tucker, by the way, is averaging 6.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game this season. Here is more of what he had to say:

"Earlier in the season, I started out thinking this would be my year, my year to improve and finally get to show what I could do," Tucker said. "It started off really kind of like the same as last year, with me really not playing that much. I got real frustrated, so I decided I wasn’t going to practice that hard and stuff like that. I got real frustrated with all the coaches. I really wasn’t playing like I wanted to. And I felt like I should be playing, that I did do everything that I needed to do. You know, I felt I worked hard this summer and all that. I felt like in the preseason I worked real hard against the guys and played against the guys. I thought that I deserved a lot of minutes, but I wasn’t getting them, so I got down on myself. Some days I didn’t feel like practicing. Some days I didn’t really want to be here. So I think that hurt me a lot. The coaches knew that, and so I wasn’t playing that much. But then I talked to a bunch of people. I didn’t want the whole rest of this year to end up like it was last year, so I talked to a lot of people and they just told me that I needed to stay positive. They told me I can’t be coming out to practice and not practicing. It’s just going to make it worse, and I’m not going to play."

"Last year was the same way," Tucker said. "I felt I should play, and I wasn’t playing, so some days in practice I would just stand on the sideline or just be in practice, not really caring, not wanting to be there. I thought I should be playing and I wasn’t. I kind of felt like I was doing everything that I needed to do to play and it still wasn’t paying off, so I kind of had the mind-set of why go out there and work hard if I’m not going to play anyway. That’s a bad mind-set that I had. My mom and my dad talked to me a lot, and my coaches called me. They told me I don’t want to waste my four years here, because I chose to come here. If I decided to come here, I need to do whatever it takes to play. I had a talk with Coach (Gary) Williams, too. He told me he just wanted me to go out there and work harder in practice. He always talks about how he plays people off of practice."

"When you know you’re not going to be a starter and you know you’re not going to be playing that many minutes anyway, and when you get in the games you really don’t get that much time to do stuff before they put the starters back in, so when you get in the game you just got to do as much as you can for as long as you can," Tucker said. "Because you can’t worry about minutes and stuff like that or else you’re going to have a rough year. I think that’s what’s hurt me my whole career here."

"Just talking to all the coaches and stuff, the turnaround lately, I’ve just been staying positive," Tucker said. "Like the Wake Forest game, for example, I only played like seven minutes. I didn’t really play that much. I probably could have pouted and all that, but I just came back the next day at practice and I just worked hard. And then the Boston College game, I came back and I played well. I think it just shows that if I stay positive and don’t worry about minutes and stuff like that and just keep practicing hard, I think it will just come to me. I think I’ll just start getting more minutes."

"That’s a big part of it; I’ve just got to keep confident," Tucker said. "Kind of like this last game (against Longwood), I really didn’t shoot the ball well. In kind of a blowout game, I don’t want to say that I played bad, but I really didn’t do that well. But I just stay confident and stay positive with everything that I do, and I know that this team needs me. Greivis talks to me a lot and tells me to never get down on myself, to always stay positive and always work hard. He wants me to be the best player that I can be. That’s what the coaches want from me too. I think Coach Williams, probably what he’s doing is he wants me to make the most out of my abilities, so I just got to keep working hard and stay confident. That’s what I’ve been doing lately, so hopefully it will pay off the rest of the year."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 23, 2010; 8:53 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gregory speaks for first time since return from suspension
Next: Interview with Adrian Bowie


I guess I will never understand how guys like this can have such head cases. Imagine pouting on the sidelines at practice and not practicing as hard as possible.

He seems like a guy that, plain and simple, just isn't very bright.

Posted by: petecard | January 23, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Haaa looks like the pscyho is back to stalking barno1 again. One too many bad trips i guess. Let this be a lesson to you kids: do too many drugs and you might turn out like Poopy (bet that would scare the hell out of most kids)

Posted by: Freddy301 | January 22, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Mr. Krueger but in the thread prior to my post it was Barno that was discussing me. Than I came in to defend myself.

If that's called "stalking" than just about everyone on a message board anywhere does it. But that doesn't fit your own agenda so you have to start making up your own Fox News-lies.

Cause there's no way that people carry conversations over from one thread to another. Nope never happens.........

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 23, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

What a joke, Freddy, someone stalking a stalker. Barno may be the most aggressive attack dog on this site. He wants to set all the rules, the first being..."Thou shallt love Gary, the Lord thy God..."

Poopy brings some life to this blog and he is funny.

We are all Maryland fans but some of us want a little more than we have been getting. We can argue about that, but let free speech reign!

Posted by: petecard | January 22, 2010 9:43 PM

petecard brings the hammer down.

It's been well documented that Barno tries his hardest to set the rules for who is and isn't a good fan. We don't need to pull up some of his old posts on fandom do we? Nah of course not.

petecard said "We are all Maryland fans but some of us want a little more than we have been getting," which is a PERFECT summary of how some UMD fans feel. Yet to some it seems that expecting or wanting more from our Terps is almost a bad thing. Or atleast they criticize others like it's a bad thing.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 23, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Oh and Freddy if you really want to scare kids away from doing drugs just sit 'em down and have them watch Requiem For A Dream.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Petecard, you're a really great fan, we get it. Dump on the players the coaches the team etc all you want--and it doesn't take anything away from how great a fan you are right. You're always so supportive of this team.

I don't really have anything else to add on the subject of fandom, so i'll just re-post what I said earlier this week in case you missed it:

it's not a shocker to any regular on here that you think there's nothing wrong with fans only being interested in watching their team in the big games. Call yourself a real fan all you want if you feel this way, I couldn't care less bud. But we all know what kind of Terps fan you really are (don't make me quote you yet again).

Your m.o: dump on the Terps and Gary and relentlessly attack the team if they lose (remember last year???), and jump on the bandwagon if they win (last few games). But like Bobby Brown said--it's your prerogative. More power to you bud.

Anyhow, on to more important things the Terps took care of business in the first 5 minutes of this game tonight...running up a 20 point lead faster than I think i've ever seen a team (at any level). And by the end, everyone had played and everyone scored. A good night for all.

NC State game is crucial for this team..
If they want to be serious about contending in the ACC this year.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 23, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

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