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The Curious Case of Cliff Tucker

Remember when Cliff Tucker was getting solid playing time last year, then inexplicably disappeared for about a month? At the time, it was asserted that he was in Gary Williams' metaphorical doghouse, for reasons unknown. It got so bad that he only got a minute of PT against Boston College.

Well, the same thing happened yesterday, albeit on a smaller scale. After receiving about 15 minutes a game in Maui (even more before then) he didn't see the floor yesterday. He was dressed and, presumably, healthy. He definitely wasn't suspended, at least not officially.

The verdict?

"Coach's decision," said Gary Williams.

Looks like the doghouse again for Cliff.

We'll know more if we see it turn into a pattern, but leaving Tucker on the bench was a quizzical decision. The three starting guards all topped 30 minutes, and Maryland had a total of 7 measly bench points, which is Tucker's specialty.

Actually, Tucker's entire stay in College Park has been a bit quizzical. He's inconsistent and runs hot and cold, but when he's hot, he's blazing (see UNC game last year). I have no idea if Gary takes issue with the way he practices or plays or his inconsistency, but you'd figure it would at least be worth a shot in a game when the offense was as stagnant as it got at times yesterday.

When Maryland toppled UNC last year, Tucker played a main role. When they beat Wake Forest and Michigan State, however, he was almost invisible. He won't be a necessity against Villanova, but it would be nice to have another five points off the bench. Here's hoping he gets it together.