Badgers’ Jordan Taylor Up For the Eddie Sutton Award


On Friday, Wisconsin Badgers starting point guard Jordan Taylor was named a finalist for the new Eddie Sutton Tustenugee Award, given to the player who best shows tenacity and unselfishness on the court.

Taylor joins California’s Jorge Gutierrez, Butler’s Matt Howard, Duke’s Kyle Singler and Arizona’s Derrick Williams as the five finalists for the inaugural national player of the year honor.

The winner will be awarded on May 7th at the Tulsa Sports Charities “Legends in Sports Dinner” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Taylor had a great year with the Badgers while posting a NCAA-best 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2010-11. The second-team AP All-American also averaged 18.1 points per game and scored 20 points or more 15 times. He was also a 2011 Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection.

The award is given out in honor of former Oklahoma State Head Coach Eddie Sutton who advocated tenacity and unselfishness during his 16-year tenure. The word “tustanugee” means “warrior” in the language of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

“I remember growing up watching Coach Sutton’s teams and admiring how hard they played and the success they had at Oklahoma State,” said Taylor. “I’m honored to be recognized as a finalist for this award.”

“As a point guard and floor leader, I try to be an extension of my head coach, and tenacity and unselfishness embody exactly what Coach Ryan is all about. I try to always play with maximum effort and bring the concept of ‘team’ into the game of basketball.”

ESPN Analyst and former Oklahoma State point guard Doug Gottlieb was the one to set up a national media panel to select the finalists and the winner.

“Every coach in the country and every analyst in the country, we constantly talk about toughness and who’s tougher and you’ve got to have great toughness to win on the road you’ve go to have toughness to win the league, you’ve go to play and compete with great toughness,” said Gottlieb. “But we don’t actually ever reward that.”

“The player who receives this award does not have to be the leading scorer on his team, nor does he have to be the star player on his team, but he will be a player who represents complete team dedication,” said Tulsa Sports Charities director Tommy Thompson.

What do you think of the new Eddie Sutton Tustanugee Award and do you think Taylor is deserving? 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, and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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