Funny how things change as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame named Taylor to the final five on Thursday.
Taylor joins Cleveland State’s Norris Cole, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Duke’s Nolan Smith and Connecticut’s Kemba Walker as the final five candidates for the prestigious award given out to the nation’s top point guard.
“I’m humbled and honored to be on a list with these other great point guards,” said Taylor. “One of my high school coaches used to talk about Bob Cousy all the time and tell me how he was the greatest player ever. I’m sure he’d be proud that my name is in the same sentence as Bob Cousy. I know I am.”
The junior out of Bloomington, MN has taken the Big Ten by storm in 2010-11. He not only leads the nation with a sparkling 4.26 assist-to-turnover ratio, but also ranks third during conference play with 20.1 points per game. His play has earned him spots on the First-Team All-Big Ten and All-Big Ten Defensive teams.
Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan sees his point guard as a perfect candidate for the Cousy Award.
“Jordan Taylor is exactly what the Cousy Award looks to recognize, a point guard who is a leader on and off court, makes his teammates better and has the ability to create on his own,” said Ryan. “Jordan has proven all year long that he has those traits, and I’m proud that he is being honored as one of the nation’s top lead guards.”
The winner of the 2011 Bob Cousy Award will be announced on April 1, with the award presentation coming at the Final Four on Monday, April 4, as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame class announcement.
To select the winner, each of the final five candidates will be reviewed by the Hall of Fame’s Blue Ribbon Selection Committee, chaired by former NABC President and Hall of Fame Trustee Ken Kaufman. The Blue Ribbon Selection Committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers.
“These final five players have truly separated themselves from the rest of the pack in college basketball,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Our committee has worked hard to narrow the field down and we look forward to recognizing a winner that represents Bob Cousy’s passion and skill for the game.”
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.