PITTSBURGH, FEB. 20 -- Georgetown freshman forward Anthony Tucker did not make the trip with the Hoyas today, remaining in Washington for "academic rehabilitation," according to Georgetown Coach John Thompson.

The nature and length of Tucker's absence from the team was not disclosed. The full statement from Thompson read:

"Anthony Tucker did not travel to Pittsburgh. He is getting some academic rehabilitation."

After the game, a 70-65 Pittsburgh victory, marred for the second straight time by a bench-clearing brawl, Thompson was asked about Tucker's status and his response was, "I don't think I need to discuss that here."

Tucker had been getting decreased playing time in the past few Georgetown games, after being a top reserve and even starting 10 games earlier in the season.

Earlier it was believed that Thompson had the 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward sitting on the bench simply because he was experimenting with different lineups in the front court, where Georgetown had been having some trouble offensively. Recently, Thompson has gone with a bigger team that includes 7-1 Ben Gillery at center.

A former high school all-America from McKinley Tech, Tucker was still second on the Hoyas team in rebounding (82) and fifth in scoring at 5.7 points a game.

Tucker, whom Thompson described as his top priority recruit last season, scored 1,567 points in three years at McKinley. Tucker averaged 18.5 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 blocked shots and 2.7 assists in high school. In his senior year, he averaged 24 points on 62 percent shooting from the floor and made better than 72 percent of his free throw attempts. He was named to the All-Met team twice and was a member of the Capital Classic team.

"Anthony is and has always been our No. 1 priority as far as recruiting goes," Thompson said last year. "We think he is not only the best player in the area, but the best player in the nation."

Thompson previously had great success with two other McKinley graduates, forward Bill Martin and guard Gene Smith.