An eye-opening part of the University of Toledo release sent out today on its new basketball signees was that Ed Tucker is part of a junior-college team that has six players heading on to play at Division I schools next year. This is out of 11 players on the roster who are graduating from junior college this spring.
Their coach, Pete Norman, did not return my phone calls, but I looked the players up myself. Here's the list:
Robert Eppinger -- Illinois-Chicago
Ed Tucker - Toledo
Anthony Simpson Idaho
Devan Bawinkel Iowa
Anthony Boyle - Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Nick Daniels IPFW
In the UT release Norman called Tucker probably our most talented player. That's an interesting comment. Bawinkel was the MVP of the league and was originally at West Virginia before Bob Huggins became the coach this past year. All these players got scholarships before Tucker did so there's always a question there. But that's high praise from the coach.
In Gene Cross' comments to myself and television media, he talked about Tucker and Larry Bastfield being the point guards next season, with Stephen Albrecht perhaps seeing time there as well. There was no mention of Paul Becklens. It appears he's not in the Rockets' plans, even if nothing has officially been decided or announced on his status. Of course, this was foreshadowed from the moment Stan Joplin started talking about recruiting a JC point guard early in the MAC season. Becklens was on campus all year but not being able to play basketball, and perhaps not having a coach for a month, could have been the difference for him.