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.