Top 10 Badgers of the Bo Ryan Era — No. 4, Jordan Taylor


Jordan Taylor was the ideal college point guard. He almost never turned the ball over. It got to the point that you would be more likely to see Halley’s Comet than a Jordan Taylor turnover. In his 71 career Big 10 games, he turned the ball over just 79 times. In his junior year, he led the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio, an essential stat in measuring point guards. He actually set the all-time NCAA record in that category, meaning he took care of the ball better than every single hall of fame point guard, every single first round pick, every single NPOY, every single… You get the point. Jordan Taylor’s ability to take care of the ball, while also being a very good distributor, was truly special.

But where he really made his mark was in the final seconds of the shot clock. Wisconsin would usually swing the ball until the last few seconds of the shot clock. Jordan Taylor would then get the ball. Pound. Through the Legs. Pound. Pound. 2 seconds left. Pound. He would then pull-up on a dime and drain a 3. Rinse and repeat. He did that so much that it basically became his trademark. You can still hear some announcers referencing the “Jordan Taylor offense” when a guard holds the ball and drains a 3 late in the shot-clock. He tortured opponents more than Jack Bauer, because he slowly sucked the life out of them. Can you imagine how frustrating that must have been for other teams?

As you can see from the video, Taylor also had elite upper body strength that allowed him to get into the paint. If he can’t get a trade mark for his late shot clock 3, then he should definitely get one for his little runner/floater/pull-up thing he does. It made him unstoppable when he got in to the lane.

In his junior season, Jordan Taylor averaged 18 points per game, and increased that to 20 points for the Big 10 season. He leapt onto the national radar with 27 points in a huge victory against previously unbeaten Ohio State. He later had a career-high 39 points against Tom Crean (hahaha) and Indiana.

He was named a consensus Second Team All-American, joining household names like Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, Derrick Williams, and Ben Hansbrough. He was named a Fox Sports First-Team All-American, and was a consensus First Team Big 10 player, offensively and defensively. In addition, Taylor was one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy award, given to the nation’s best point guard. He led Wisconsin to the Sweet 16, where they lost to the eventual runner-ups, Butler, despite Taylor’s game-high 22 points.

In the next season, Taylor came in with an extraordinary amount of hype. He was named to almost every single award watch list and to the preseason first-team All-American squad. Unfortunately, after the departure of Jon Leuer, Taylor was surrounded by inexperience, and defenses honed in on him. His scoring decreased to 15 PPG overall, and 16 PPG in conference games, which was still very good. Despite his scoring decrease, he didn’t let the team have any less success in the record book. Even though they lost Leuer, Taylor basically single handedly carried them to a 4-seed and a Sweet 16. He set a Wisconsin team record in minutes played in a season, and was his same old steady self handling the ball. He had a game-high 17 points and 6 assists in a heart shattering 1-point tournament loss to Syracuse.  He was named First Team All-Big 10.

So to recap, Taylor set the NCAA record for assist-to-turnover ratio, was named Second-Team All-American, was a two-time member of the 1st-Team All-Big 10, and he led Wisconsin to consecutive Sweet 16s. No, he never made it in the NBA, but Taylor was a great college point guard, and an amazing Badger.

The Rest of the Top 10

Honorable Mention