Badgers Jordan Taylor Is the Key to Wisconsin’s Offense


At 16-5 and third in the Big Ten standings, the #18 Wisconsin Badgers have been one of the biggest surprises in all of college basketball. Back in November, a lot of analysts picked the Badgers to finish no better than seventh in one of the nation’s premier conferences.

With the graduation and departure of senior guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, it was a mystery who would step in as the second scoring option beside player-of-the-year candidate Jon Leuer.

Enter Jordan Taylor who has not only evolved quite nicely into a second scoring option, but has also become a leader and key distributor in the Badgers offense.

By: Nick Grays

Taylor is  making an impression on the entire country as one of twenty finalists for the 2011 Cousy Award, an honor given to the nation’s top point guard. He’s gotten this far by playing great fundamental basketball.

The junior point guard from Bloomington, MN rarely turns over the ball and has excellent vision of the court. Jordan has used his unique talents in an attempt to execute Bo Ryan’s swing offense by making sure his teammates find good shots.

The plan has worked immensely this season as Taylor leads the nation with a 3.80 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Coach Ryan sees the value in his star point guard and has went as far to say Taylor is one of the best point guards he’s ever coached.

“First and foremost, he is a guy that sees whats in front of him, whether he’s on the court, in the classroom, at practice, in life. Jordan’s parents have done an unbelievable job of making him understand what it takes to be a man, and things to value and things to adhere to. And I’m just trying not to mess that up, with the stuff I give him,” said Ryan.

“He takes the team, and he runs it. You don’t see me with the p0int guard with my arm around him all the time and having to talk to him on the sideline. My point guards have always had that freedom in making the calls, and Jordan has handled it as well as anyone I’ve ever had,” added Ryan.

The one knock on Taylor coming into the season was whether he could handle scoring on a consistent basis while running an offense as the starting point guard position.

He’s more than proved doubters wrong on that one while ranking second in Big Ten scoring during conference play at 19.7 points through nine games.

In a 78-46 thrashing of Northwestern, Wildcats’ Head Coach Bill Carmody saw why Taylor is being talked about as one of the Big Ten’s best point guards.

“He scores in a lot of different ways, makes shots off the dribble, gets to the basket, and gets to the foul line. He’s a powerful kid who has really stepped up this year,” said Carmody.

While Taylor has experienced a lot of success in the 2010-11 season, he still acknowledges the opportunity to get better in the future.

When asked about what he’s looking to improve upon, Taylor responded with, “Everything, I’m trying to get better in every area of my game.”

Not a surprising answer for Jordan who has excelled in every area of his game this season. With a little hard-work and determination, Taylor could lead this year’s Badgers team to a deep NCAA Tournament run come March.

Is Jordan Taylor the best point guard in the Big Ten and what does he mean to this year’s Badgers squad? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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