If you haven’t heard, the Wisconsin Badgers’ Jordan Taylor is emerging as one of the Big Ten’s premier point guards. He went for a game-high 22 points and seven assists on Tuesday Night to give #24 Wisconsin (11-2) a 68-60 upset of #13 Minnesota (11-2).
Reaching double-digits is becoming regular for the junior from Bloomington, MN as he’s reached the mark in twelve of the Badgers thirteen games this season. Don’t be fooled by the points as Taylor also excels in the passing game with 57 assists compared to only 15 turnovers.
By: Nick Grays
Coming into the season, the guard position was a definite question mark with seniors Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes departing last season. Taylor has quickly bid farewell to that notion as he has established his self as a dangerous scoring threat and crafty distributor.
Before play began this year, Badgers Head Coach Bo Ryan knew what kind of player Taylor would become.
“By the time he’s done, Jordan will be one of the best point guards who has ever played here. I feel like he’s a born leader. He wants to win. He wants to beat people. And he wants to be proud of the jersey that he’s wearing,” said Ryan.
While many across the country may think Taylor lacks experience, this is not the case. Taylor started 17 games his sophomore year, averaging just under 30 minutes a game and saw the floor in 33 contests the year previous during his freshman campaign. This is a kid who knows what he’s doing on the court and overflows with confidence while doing it.
The game against the Golden Gophers was a perfect example of Taylor’s value. Even though he started the game with four bricks, Taylor kept at it and poured in nine straight points for the Badgers. He also threw away a costly turnover early which would be his first and last.
Minnesota’s Head Coach Tubby Smith made sure to speak of the starting point guard early in his comments following the game.
“I thought Jordan Taylor was outstanding today and played extremely well. We couldn’t contain him or control him,” said Smith.
Taylor’s counterpart in Minnesota’s senior Al Nolen had no answer defensively or offensively for the Wisconsin point guard. Nolen went 0-for-6 and ended the game with no points for the first time this season. There’s no doubt that Jordan will be a leader and game-changer in Wisconsin’s battle for the Big Ten title in 2010-11.
I’m not sure if Taylor is better than Illinois’ Demetri McCamey or Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas, but he will surely put up a fight against them during the Big Ten season. Taylor just might lead the Badgers to a surprising finish in one of the toughest conferences in all of college basketball.
What kind of player do you think Jordan Taylor can become? Where does he rank among the Big Ten’s point guards? Let me know by commenting below!
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