Tag:Jordan Taylor
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:46 pm

Podcast: Doug McDermott vs. Barnes debate begins

By Matt Norlander

It's that soft spot between Christmas and New Year's, but lots of good basketball is about to get going thanks to conference play starting in earnest. Goodman, Parrish and I have our weekly Wednesday podcast here to discuss: Jordan Taylor's somehow underrated play this year; Creighton's Doug McDermott is about to explode on the national college hoops landscape; Rick Pitino can't be trusted; and this week is so huge for Louisville. The next three games, really: Wednesday vs. Georgetown; Saturday at Kentucky; Jan. 3 against St. John's.
We mix in some other things, too, particularly at the beginning, when I learn Parrish was once a pizza delivery boy.

  • From the beginning: Some weekend wrap-up/catchup chatter. Sometimes this is the best parts of the podcast. It wanders into talking about Seth Greenberg, because of course.
  • 9:00: As for the here and now, it starts with Jordan Taylor, who Goodman saw in person last night. He's not having a down year, you know.
  • 16:29: Now we get to Doug McDermott, who's having an insane year, a First Team All America-level year so far. We've been on McDermott since the summer, but it feels like the coming weeks will finally bring widespread pub and love to a player who's doing much better so far this season than a guy named Jimmer last season.
  • 20:50: This conversation/debate could gain traction if McDermott continues to play so well, but we touch on Harrison Barnes vs. McDermott as college players (the two were high school teammates).
  • 24:09: Why we do not believe Rick Pitino.
  • 27:56: Podcast comes to a close with a nine-minute discussion on the next three games for U of L: Georgetown, Kentucky, St. John's (yes, St. John's). I think it's the most critical non-postseason three-game stretch the Cards have this season.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: December 28, 2011 12:18 pm

Jordan Taylor deferring for his Badgers teammates

By Jeff Goodman

LINCOLN, Neb. - It just wouldn't have been quite as believable coming from most players. But when Jordan Taylor uttered the words, there was no question that he meant it. 

"As long as we're winning, I could care less," Wisconsin's do-everything point guard said. "I'd much rather go to the Final Four and not have any accolades than get knocked out in the first-round and be an All-American." 

Just talk to Taylor a while and you'll realize how unique an individual he truly is. 

He doesn't make any excuses for his shooting woes this season, only to say that he has -- and needs to -- get in the gym with more frequency. 

"It's nothing mechanical," Taylor said. "No secret formula. Just repetition. That's all." 

But truth be told, Taylor has had to adjust to life without Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil, two guys who could both stretch the defense last season and two guys that combined to average 28 points per contest. 

Instead of going out there to prove that he's the First Team All-American that many projected Taylor to be this season, Taylor did the opposite. He sat back, let the game come to him and tried to make sure that his teammates got their shots and gained confidence in their new roles. 

Remember, the team's top five scorers this season not named Jordan Taylor combined to average just 16.4 points last season. 

"He's trying to be the guy who makes everyone else better," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said after the 64-40 win at Nebraska on Tuesday night. "He wants to show people we've got more than one player. He's exactly what a great point guard should be." 

Ryan admitted that, at times this season, he's told Taylor to be more aggressive in looking for his own shot. 

"He didn't worry about getting his own at all," Badgers junior wing Ryan Evans said after going for a career-high 22 in the rout over Nebraska. "He's such a great leader -- and that's why he's different. He knows we're young and inexperienced and wants to instill confidence in the other guys." 

"It's what separates him from other All-Americans," Evans added. 

It's not as though Taylor and the Badgers have gotten off to some miserable start, either. Other than his shooting and scoring, everything else is basically on par with last season - when he established himself as one of the nation's elite players. His assist-to-turnover ratio remains at more than 3-to-1; he distributes, rebounds well for a point guard and leads his team. 

It's a group that has suffered just two slip-ups: the close loss in Chapel Hill to North Carolina and the rare home setback against in-state rival Marquette. 

Taylor was impressive in the win against Nebraska, but his stat line once again wasn't eye-popping. He took just a dozen shots, make five and was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc -- with a couple critical makes that helped allow the Badgers to pull away in the second half. 

But Taylor was too busy feeding Evans, who had his shot going on Tuesday night. Too busy trying to get Ben Brust and Jared Berggren looks. 

"We have some really good players," Taylor said. 

Including a special one. 

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:34 pm

Wisconsin needs help for Jordan Taylor

Jeff Borzello

Tu Holloway has Mark Lyons. Jared Sullinger has William Buford. Harrison Barnes and Terrence Jones have a slew of players.

Jordan Taylor has . . . Jared Berggren? Ben Brust?

Taylor can’t do it all by himself. This was completely evident against Marquette on Saturday, when Taylor struggled with fouls and turnovers. Marquette kept him under wraps when he was in the game, and he was unable to will the Badgers to a victory.

Taylor’s usage rate is lower than last season, but his efficiency and offensive rating are also down. He’s not drawing as many fouls as he did last season, and he’s shooting below 40 percent from the field and 3-point range. On the other side, there is little doubt that Taylor is one of the best point guards in the country. He takes care of the ball, distributes it effectively and also has the ability to score in different ways.

Last year, though, he had forward Jon Leuer to take some of the pressure off him offensively. Leuer averaged 18.3 points and could also be a go-to-guy when Wisconsin needed a basket in end-game or end-clock situations. Taylor doesn’t have Leuer this year, and no one has really replaced him as a reliable option when Taylor is having an off night.

This is not to belittle Berggren or Brust, but one of them has to step up on the offensive end on a consistent basis in order for Wisconsin to be a top 10 team or a Final Four contender. Berggren has good numbers, but the inside-outside big man has a tendency to go cold at times. He was just 3-for-11 in the loss to Marquette, finishing with eight points. Brust is shooting nearly 43 percent from 3-point range on the season, but he’s only made two of his last 10 outside shots. He didn’t reach double figures in either of the loss to Marquette or North Carolina.

Wisconsin ranks dead last in the country in the number of points it gets from the foul line. Only 10.2 percent of the Badgers’ points are the result of free throws. A low number is typical for a team that relies heavily on the 3-point shot, but Wisconsin had players last year that could get their own shot by attacking the rim.

There isn’t really anyone to do that this season, which leads to defenses focusing on Taylor and him struggling with his efficiency and effectiveness. Naturally, this has been a problem, despite the unorthodox swing offense Bo Ryan’s troops run. The Badgers’ system will allow them to be one of the more efficient offenses in the country, and they’ll get plenty of points out of their sets. When the Badgers need a basket, though, Taylor will need help.

The trend stretches back to last season. Leuer scored at least 20 points on 14 separate occasions – but only one of those games came in a loss. His four lowest-scoring outputs of the year came in defeat.

Essentially, when Taylor wasn’t getting consistent help, Wisconsin struggled. The story is going to be the same this season – unless Berggren or Brust (or someone else) can be a consistent contributor against fellow contenders.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:59 pm

No, we didn't forget Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

By Gary Parrish

Jeff Goodman and I spent Monday doing a 2012 NBA mock draft.

We alternated picks.

I took Harrison Barnes first.

Goodman took Anthony Davis second and said he would've taken him first.

(Note: Looks like I'm the smart one. Again.)

Then we knocked out the next 28 picks and among the players never selected was Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, which led to a few emails that asked the following questions: "Are you an idiot? Did you forget about Jordan Taylor?"

Answer to Question No. 1: Maybe

Answer to Question No. 2: No

As everybody should know by now, being a great college player doesn't necessarily make somebody a great NBA prospect, and Taylor might be an example of that. I'm not ready to give up on his NBA prospects just yet because he could reasonably go late in the first round of any draft and then develop into a quality NBA point guard. I don't know. But the fact that Taylor is a tremendous college guard means nothing ... except for that he'll be a First Team Preseason All-American.

Speaking of, I decided to take a look at how some preseason All-American teams might look.

If I'm doing two teams, here's what I've got:

G: Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
G: Austin Rivers (Duke)
F: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
F: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
F: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)

G: Tu Holloway (Xavier)
G: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
F: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
F: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
F: Perry Jones (Baylor)
Posted on: March 4, 2011 7:10 am

The Morning Drive: Jordan Taylor turns heads

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Conference tournament action overshadowed the marquee match-ups on Thursday, but there were still games with NCAA Tournament implications. Furthermore, there were a number of extremely impressive performances across the board. Follow me on Twitter: @jeffborzello

Conference Tournaments Update: There were 13 conference tournament games last night. In the Northeast, all four favorites advanced, but it wasn’t easy. No. 3 Robert Morris beat Wagner by four, while No. 4 Central Connecticut State escaped St. Francis (N.Y.) by two. LIU and Quinnipiac cruised. Over in the America East play-in game, Binghamton destroyed UMBC by 26. The Missouri Valley had two games, with Southern Illinois and Bradley advancing. The Ohio Valley semifinals are also set, as No. 4 Tennessee Tech dominated upstart Tennessee-Martin and No. 3 Austin Peay handled Southeast Missouri State with ease. Tech plays Murray State and APU faces Morehead State. We have our first conference championship game finalized, as the Big South final will be between No. 1 Coastal Carolina and No. 3 UNC-Asheville. Coastal came back to beat VMI and Asheville crushed High Point in the second half. Wrapping up the tourney action was the Atlantic Sun. No. 6 North Florida upset No. 3 Jacksonville, while No. 5 Mercer defeated No. 4 Lipscomb. The top performers were numerous, including: Binghamton’s Greer Wright and Moussa Camara, who combined for 61 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists; Justin Rutty of Quinnipiac going for 22 points and 16 rebounds; Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray and Anthony Raffa, who combined for 50 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists; Robert Morris’ Velton Jones’ 29 points and six assists; Caleb Brown of Austin Peay scoring 28 points; and Bradley’s Dyricus Simms-Edwards going for 26 points, nine boards and five assists.

Top Performer: Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor showed once again why his original exclusion from the Bob Cousy finalist list was preposterous, scoring a career-high 39 points to lead the Badgers to a 77-67 victory at Indiana. Taylor knocked down seven 3-pointers and went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Overall, he was 11-for-19 from the field. Perhaps most impressively, Taylor did it all on just 55 possessions. 

Steppin’ Up: Faced with a must-win game against UCLA last night, Washington turned to an unlikely source. Freshman guard C.J. Wilcox went 4-for-7 from 3-point range en route to a career-high 24 points, leading Washington to a nine-point win. Wilcox hit all six of his foul shots, and was 7-for-10 from the field. He also helped the Huskies pull away down the stretch with a 3-pointer while getting fouled with 2:38 left.

Stat-Sheet Stuffer: Because of Georgia Tech’s struggles, Iman Shumpert has been flying below the radar this season. Last night, though, he was tough to ignore. Shumpert finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and six steals to lead the Yellow Jackets to an 80-54 blowout at Wake Forest. Shumpert even went 2-for-3 from behind the arc, an area he has struggled in this year.

Dub-Dubbing: Washington State might be getting back in the at-large mix after last night’s home win over a surging USC team, led by DeAngelo Casto’s 24 points 10 rebounds. Casto was nearly perfect from the field, shooting 10-for-11 and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also had two assists. Casto is on a roll lately, averaging 17.7 points in his last six games.

Filling it up: Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell returned to his scoring ways last night against St. John’s, dropping 31 to beat the Red Storm. Hazell hit his season-high by going 9-for-14 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range. He also grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and picked up three steals. When Hazell gets it going, Seton Hall can be tough to beat.

In a Losing Effort: South Carolina did its best to come back from a 20-point deficit against Tennessee, but fell short, losing 73-69. Senior Sam Muldrow finished in a major way in his last home game, going for 24 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. He shot just 9 for-21 from the field, going 0-for-5 from 3-point range, but played well around the rim, grabbing seven offensive rebounds.

Set the DVR: Four conference tournaments start up today, with the CAA, MAAC, Southern and West Coast all getting underway. Moreover, the Missouri Valley, Horizon, Ohio Valley and Atlantic Sun continue.

Numbers Don’t Lie:

  • Jordan Taylor outscored the rest of the Badgers, 39-38.
  • Taylor scored the most points by a visitor at Assembly Hall since Shawn Respert scored 40 in 1995.
  • South Carolina hasn’t beaten Tennessee since 2007.
  • St. John’s hasn’t won at Seton Hall since 1997.

Notes and Notables:

  • Arizona earned at least a share of the Pac-10 title with a 70-59 win over Oregon State. Derrick Williams led the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 12:58 pm

Jordan Taylor still not getting his due respect

Posted by Matt Norlander

If it's going to take another big win or two or six before Wisconsin gets the pub and love it deserves, how long is it going to be until Jordan Taylor is seen as one of the best in the country at his position?

Voters for the Bob Cousy Award need more evidence, apparently. A day after Taylor went for 30 points and six assists in a beauty of a game against Michigan State, the 10 finalists for the best-point-guard-in-the-country award were announced Monday, Taylor getting snubbed. Xavier's Tu Holloway was also somewhat-egregiously kept off the dwindled list.

Your finalists, in alphabetical order:
  1. Cleveland State's Norris Cole
  2. Villanova's Corey Fisher
  3. BYU's Jimmer Fredette
  4. San Diego State's D.J. Gay
  5. Kentucky's Brandon Knight
  6. Illinois' Demetri McCamey
  7. Saint Mary's Mickey McConnell
  8. Duke's Nolan Smith
  9. Washington's Isaiah Thomas
  10. UConn's Kemba Walker
Taylor cannot win his way back on to the ballot. No doubt this year is a good one for point guards in college basketball (yet the sport is rightfully perceived to being in a down cycle), but Taylor and Holloway should replace McCamey and Fredette. Jimmer is not a true point guard, folks.

Back to Taylor, who is averaging 17.8 points, 4.6 assists, 4.4 boards per game. You could build an argument around him being overshadowed by a better player on his team in Jon Leuer, but even Leuer continues to be criminally under-appreciated at his own position (power forward).

No wonder Bo Ryan so frequently looks like this.

Taylor's in the top 10 nationally in 11 categories, most notably turnover percentage and offensive rating. Only seven other guys give the ball away at a rarer rate than Taylor — none of those players are the ones listed above. Taylor is eighth; Kemba Walker is 36th. More than half the finalists don't even crack the top 100 in ball security, arguably the most important facet of point guard play.

As for the offensive rating, Taylor's the 10th-most effective offensive player in the nation as of Monday afternoon. Awesome numbers. In fact, Wisconsin has three in the top 10, which has got to be bending hoops laws in some way, perhaps hurting Taylor by proxy. McConnell of Saint Mary's is seventh in offensive rating, for the record.

Award-snubbage isn't the most desirable of topics — college basketball already has about 25 too many statues handed out each year — but the stiff-arm delivered to Taylor here is eyebrow-raising. Few players (read: much less than 10) contribute with incredible effectiveness in nearly every offensive category like Taylor does. Is it possible he's being overlooked because Wisconsin's still fighting off an unfair stench that lingers from the Big Ten's past play. Yep.

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 3:56 pm

Goodness gracious, Wisconsin; that was impressive

Posted by Matt Norlander

Teach me how to Bucky, teach me, teach me how to Bucky.

Nobody can Bucky quite like the Badgers. This blog post is coming to you fresh off one of the smoothest, most efficient beatdowns you'll see in major-conference basketball this season, an 82-59 Wisconsin win over Michigan State.

Yes, this was against Michigan State, which is suddenly a detriment to opponents' credibility. But pay no mind to that, please! The game was the hardcourt equivalent of what Anderson Silva did to Vitor Belfort Saturday night; just a swift, concentrated kick to the face of the Spartans. I suppose that's the primary reason I was inspired to write this post — I was that in awe of what Bucky was doing to Sparty. This wasn't your typical laugher, though it is funny it took me until now to write a love letter to Wisky.

Jordan Taylor, who's still not a household name for the precise reason he plays in Madison, Wisc., went for a delicious 30 points against Michigan State at the Kohl Center. Jon Leuer (above, guarded by Michigan State's Draymond Green) put in 20 more.
People: Wisconsin scored 82 points Sunday afternoon. It averaged 69 heading into today's game. UW was 11-of-17 from behind the 3-point line and went 25-for-26 at the free-throw line! When was the last time a team shot better than 95 percent at the line in a game wherein it took more than 25 free throws?

These are incredible numbers, in a vacuum, but they're not too, too far off from what Wisconsin's been doing for the majority of this season.

The Badgers scored 1.52 points per possession against Michigan State. If you need the perspective, the nation's leader in points per possession is currently Pittsburgh, at 1.22 PPP. But that will change once the computers crunch the numbers at night's end; Wisconsin is/was .1 PPP behind the Panthers. That's hardly bad news, considering other things coming out of the Pitt program this afternoon.

The Badgers, winners of 16 straight at home, could be on their way to becoming The Next Hot Thing. (Your current Next Hot Thing: Texas.) Considering Wisconsin is currently the best free-throw shooting team in at least a decade (way to bolster that percentage even further today, boys), as well as being the most proficient club at turning you over, it looks as if Bo Ryan's team is on a crash course to crushing a couple of cruddy-by-comparison teams in the first weekend of The Tournament.

Category: NCAAB
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