Deciding between Jordan Taylor and Devin Harris for the #3 spot was an excruciatingly tough decision. They were both fantastic players that did great things for the Wisconsin program. I actually considered making Taylor 3B and Harris 3A. Unfortunately, I had to make a decision, and Harris got the slight edge because he was a better defender and more versatile. He also led Wisconsin to their first outright Big 10 Championship in the shot clock era.
When Devin Harris first arrived in Madison, it was clear that he was going to become something special. He was the first (and one of the only) freshman to ever start for Bo Ryan. He used his incredible athleticism and explosiveness to average 12 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal on a team that went on to earn a share of the Big 10 title. The next year, he continued his steady play, averaging about 13 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, proving himself as one of the best offensive and defensive players in the country.
Wisconsin’s final game that year was against Illinois. The winner of the game would win the Big 10 Title outright. And Harris did this:
In Harris’s junior year, he broke out and dominated the college game. He averaged 19.5 points, 4.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals. He was one of the biggest names in college basketball, and at the time, was the most prolific basketball player to ever attend Wisconsin. He was a consensus 2nd team All-American and easily won Big 10 Player of the Year.
Harris stellar play didn’t end when he left Madison. He was the 5th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft, and was a solid starter in the league for a long time. In 2009, he was named an NBA All-Star. In fact, 11 years after he was drafted, he’s still a strong bench player with the Dallas Mavericks.
The Rest of the Top 10