Jordan Taylor AP Preseason All-American

MADISON, Wis. – For just the second time in Wisconsin history, Wisconsin is represented on The Associated Press preseason All-America team, as senior guard Jordan Taylor was selected as one of the nation’s top five players Monday.

"Taylor picked preseason All-American"

Taylor is the only senior selected by the 65-member national media panel that determines the preseason All-America team. He is joined by sophomores Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), Terrence Jones (Kentucky) and Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut). Taylor received 51 of a possible 65 votes, to rank third in the polling for the All-America team.

“It’s an honor to be placed in the same category as the other great players on this list, but I’ve always considered postseason awards to be the most valuable,” Taylor said. “Individual honors are a reflection of team success, so if we do well as a team, everything else falls into place.”

The Badgers have had four players earn postseason All-America status from the AP, but Taylor joins Michael Finley (1994-95) as the only UW players to be a preseason pick. Taylor was also a second-team All-America selection following last season.

Since the AP began awarding All-America teams in 1948, Wisconsin has been represented by Don Rehfeldt (2nd team in 1950), Devin Harris (2nd, 2004), Alando Tucker (1st, 2007) and Taylor. The 6-foot-1 Taylor averaged 18.1 points and 4.7 assists last season in leading the Badgers to a 25-9 record, third place in the Big Ten and their 13th straight NCAA tournament appearance in 2010-11.

“I’m always a believer in postseason recognition for players, but in order to get preseason honors, you have to have done something, so he obviously did an awful lot last year for our team,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “Individually he gets recognized because he’s the nation’s leader in assist-to-turnover on the nation’s top team in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio.

“This is a recognition of past accomplishments,” Ryan added. “Jordan being recognized as a senior makes a statement for his worth to the team and is a testament to a player that has worked hard for four years to improve and develop. He has gotten better every year. With a year to go, it’s nice know that the media feels he has earned the recognition.”

Wisconsin opens the season ranked No. 15 in the AP’s preseason top-25 poll. The Badgers open play on Nov. 5 in an exhibition contest vs. UW-Stevens Point.

 

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Brust Shines in Red/White Scrimmage

MADISON, Wis. — As a member of the scout team last season, Ben Brust showed his teammates and coaches that he could score. During Sunday’s Red/White Scrimmage, the sophomore guard showed the Badger faithful that same scorer’s mentality, finishing with a game-high  22 points while leading Red to a 72-56 win at the Kohl Center.  Brust was one of three Red players in double  figures, joining juniors Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren, who chipped 18 points each. Seniors Jordan Taylor  (16 points) and Ryan Evans (14 points) led the White squad in front of a crowd of 3,727.

“Those are the things Ben can do,” head coach Bo Ryan said after the scrimmage. “He can have a scoring frenzy at  times. He did it last year at practice every once in a while. He’s quick with the ball and includes his teammates.

“He’s quick, we always knew that. And he’s even quicker now. He’s worked hard.”

“It’s fun to come out here and compete against everyone and play hard and take what was given to me, I guess,”  said Brust, who added five rebounds and four assists on the day. “Personally, it feels like it’s been a long time since  I’ve played in front of a crowd, so it was nice to be on the floor and have some fun.”

Bruesewitz led all scorers in the first half with an ultra-efficient 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting. For the game, the 6-  foot-6 forward scored 16 of his 18 points in the lane, helping Red post a 36-24 advantage on points in the paint. Brust showed he could score inside and out Sunday, getting to the rim for eight of his 22 points and knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.

“Today I kind of used my driving to open up the outside shooting,” Brust said. “Any time you compete, you want to play hard and do the best you can. I’m out here every day because I want to be on the floor with the team and helping to win games.”

“We all knew Ben could score coming in, and I’m looking forward to playing with him,” Taylor said. “He did a lot of that when he was on the scout team. It’s no surprise to us. Ben played great and he should use this as a confidence boost and take that forward.”

Red, which shot a sizzling 63 percent from the field, also got six points and two rebounds from senior Rob Wilson. White converted 47.9 percent from the floor, including 38.5 (5-for-13) percent from 3-point range. Taylor finished 7-for-18 from the floor, adding four assists. Wisconsin will play its one and only exhibition game this Saturday, Nov. 5, against UW-Stevens Point at the Kohl Center. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (CT).

Taylor Named to Wooden Pre Season Award Watch List

MADISON, Wis. — The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its Preseason Top 50 list on Monday and included Wisconsin senior guard Jordan Taylor.
 
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
 
Last season, Taylor and teammate Jon Leuer were among the 20 players to appear on the 2011 Wooden Award final ballot. Devin Harris (2004) and Alando Tucker (2007) have also recently appeared on the Wooden Award final ballot.
Taylor, who averaged 18.1 points per game and earned second-team AP All-American honors a year ago, is one of nine Big Ten players on the Preseason Top 50 list. The Big East (10), is the only conference with more players on the Wooden Award’s preseason list.
 
The 36th-annual Wooden Award will honor the men’s and women’s winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award. It will take place the weekend of April 6-8, 2012, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Networks and Times for 13th Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Announced

MADISON, Wis – ESPN has finalized the network and time assignments for the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods to be played Nov. 29-30. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event, one more than in the previous 12 Challenges because of the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference.

This year’s event will be highlighted by four traditional power programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2011-12 season: Duke at Ohio State (Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com) and Wisconsin at North Carolina (Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.com).

The 2011 Challenge – once again featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup — involves six teams ranked in an early preseason top 25 by ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz, including three in the top five: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Duke, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 21 Florida State and No. 23 Michigan.

The Big Ten won the Commissioner’s Cup for the second consecutive year while the ACC won the previous 10 Challenges. In the event of a 6-6 tie this year, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year.

 

2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule:

Date                                     Time (ET)               Game                                                                     Network

Tue, Nov 29                        7 p.m.                     No. 23 Michigan at Virginia                                ESPN2

7:15 p.m.               Northwestern at Georgia Tech                           ESPNU

7:30 p.m.               Illinois at Maryland                                                ESPN

9 p.m.                     Miami at Purdue                                                       ESPN2

9:15 p.m.               Clemson at Iowa                                                      ESPNU

9:30 p.m.               No. 5 Duke at No. 3 Ohio State                          ESPN

Wed, Nov 30                      7:15 p.m.               Indiana at North Carolina State                        ESPN2

7:15 p.m.               Penn State at Boston College                              ESPNU

7:30 p.m.               No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State          ESPN

9:15 p.m.               Virginia Tech at Minnesota                                 ESPN2

9:15 p.m.               Wake Forest at Nebraska                                      ESPNU

9:30 p.m.               No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina     ESPN

 

Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (nine) have combined for 19 Final Four appearances and six national titles: North Carolina (2009 and 2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001 and 2010) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC leads in NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances while the Big Ten is first in Tournament appearances.

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