UW’s Taylor nets honor
The senior guard from Bloomington, Minn., on Monday was named a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the league coaches.
A consensus first-team pick as a junior, Taylor thus becomes the sixth UW player to garner first-team, all-league honors twice.
The other players: Alando Tucker (2006 and ‘07), Kirk Penney (2002 and ‘03), Michael Finley (1993 and ‘95), Ab Nicholas (1951 and ‘52) and Don Rehfeldt (1949 and ‘50).
“I’m very honored to have my name written alongside the great players in the Big Ten,” Taylor, a second-team pick according to the media, said in a UW release. “Our league is so deep and talented this year, you can’t go wrong with any of the players on the three All-Big Ten teams.
“There is no question my being named all-conference is a reflection of our team’s success and I owe a lot to my teammates and coaches for that. It’s a great honor.”
Taylor joined consensus Player of the Year Draymond Green of Michigan State, Robbie Hummel of Purdue, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and John Shurna of Northwestern on the coaches’ first team.
The media voters put Penn State guard Tim Frazier on the first team ahead of Taylor.
In Big Ten games only:
Taylor finished seventh in scoring (16.3 ppg), second in assist/turnover ratio (2.2, 61 assists, 28 turnovers), 11th in assists (3.4 per game) and 12th in free-throw shooting (79.6 percent).
Led by Taylor, UW finished 12-6 in the Big Ten, one game behind tri-champions Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State.
Taylor’s selection to the first team marked the 10th first-team all-conference honor during Bo Ryan’s 11 seasons. According to UW officials, that mark is the most in the Big Ten during the Ryan era. Seven UW players have been honored during that time.
Ryan noted Taylor’s greatest work this season was in helping to weave Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz into the starting lineup.
“I think it has been tremendous because of how he has brought along the other guys,” Ryan said when asked about Taylor’s senior season. “When you say something 1,000 times sometimes you hesitate to say it again, but I can’t with Jordan. He has brought along this front line as well as anybody I could have had out there or that a coach could ask for.
“He has helped three reserve players from last year who
didn’t get a lot of time, into guys that are competing at a high level. Not every point guard in America can do that. But Jordan can.
“His shooting percentage is down a little bit but not his leadership. And that is what has enabled us to hang in there and to keep competing in the top level of the Big Ten, which for Jordan has been quite an accomplishment.”
Junior forward Ryan Evans and junior center Jared Berggren were consensus honorable mention selections for UW.
Sophomore guard Josh Gasser was chosen to the all-defensive team, which is selected by the coaches.
“Being named to the all-defensive team means a lot to me,” Gasser said in a UW release. “I really pride myself on that end of the court, so to have coaches around the league recognize that gives me great pride.
“But at the same time, I think this is representative of our team defense. When we’re holding teams to the points and shooting percentage that we are, I realize that I’m just a part of that. But I’m proud to be honored.”
Gasser is the first UW sophomore to be named to the league’s all-defensive team and the fifth player overall.
He joins Michael Flowers (2007 and ‘08), Joe Krabbenhoft (2008), Trévon Hughes (2010) and Taylor (2011).
Senior guard Rob Wilson was named UW’s sportsmanship award recipient.