Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Taylor brings road prowess home

[media-credit name=’BRYAN FAUST/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]Kammron_BF_416[/media-credit]After a string of successful away games, sophomore guard Kammron Taylor finally got “on the road at home” with an 18-point, five-assist and four-rebound performance Wednesday night against Northwestern. Shooting 5-for-8 from the field (including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc) Taylor notched 13 points in the opening stanza to lift the Badgers to a 42-26 lead heading into the break.

“Kam’s been developing all year; it’s great to see with teammates,” Wisconsin center Brian Butch said. “He’s put together a bunch of good games here, and we expect that from him now.”

Although Taylor trailed off scoring-wise in the second half, the young guard’s presence drawing fouls on the penetration and in the ball-control game endured until the final buzzer.


“He’s getting there,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “I think anybody watching the game would have to say that Kam had a big influence on the outcome.”

In his third consecutive start via the three-guard lineup, Taylor recorded statistically his best performance at the Kohl Center all year. The sophomore’s only other double-digit night in front of a home crowd came Dec. 27 against Western Carolina, when Taylor received 18 minutes backing up senior Sharif Chambliss at the point.

“Man, it felt real good,” Taylor said after Wednesday’s game. “I’ve been hearing a lot that I only know how to play well on the road … hopefully it will go well for the rest of the season, at home and on the road.”

Although Ryan expressed pleasure in Taylor’s continued improvement, he acknowledged the performance was by no means perfect. After committing his lone turnover against Penn State on an inconsequential-charge call, Taylor’s pair of turnovers against the Wildcats proved somewhat less trivial.

One such occurrence arrived late in the opening half, when diminutive Wildcat guard Michael Jenkins sprinted the length of the floor to pick Taylor’s pocket in the open court.

“Jenkins is quick,” Ryan said. “He covered a lot of ground to get that ball from Kam from behind. Those are ones you can’t turnover.”

Princeton offense, Arizona State defense: Although difficulties in the ball-control game hampered Wildcat productivity, the Princeton offensive scheme of head coach Bill Carmody delivered as promised, providing numerous lay-up opportunities on inside cuts. After the game, Ryan likened the fruits of Carmody’s smart offense to a “hot knife through butter.”

On the defensive end, however, the Wildcat players seemed more like “D” students.

Despite controlling the post for much of the game — even capturing an uncharacteristic advantage on the boards — the Wildcats struggled to contain Wisconsin’s swing offense, frequently leaving Badger shooters with open looks from medium and long range. As a result, five Wisconsin players finished the game with double-digit point totals: Chambliss (10), Taylor (18), Butch (12), forward Mike Wilkinson (11) and guard Clayton Hanson (11).

“We’ve always been pretty successful when we have lots of guys scoring in double figures,” Wilkinson said. “[Tonight] it just showed how well we shared the ball. We moved the ball, got some looks and the guys knocked them down.”

Following the loss, Carmody mildly criticized his team’s defensive effort and credited Wisconsin with engineering the open looks.

“They’re a very solid team,” Carmody said. “I think everyone says that they are fundamentally sound on offense and defense, but they have a lot of good individual players besides that, and they know their responsibilities and roles.”

Even in the second half, when Wisconsin’s hot hand cooled from 53.6 percent to 40.0 percent from the field, the Badgers’ success drawing the foul inside kept the game at a comfortable distance. Wisconsin shot 17-for-23 from the charity stripe over the course of the night.

For the second-straight game, explosive swingman Alando Tucker stayed on the bench with a right-foot injury. With an athletic element once again drained from Ryan’s arsenal, Wisconsin’s effectiveness hunting the open look proved critical, particularly on a night where Northwestern outscored the Badgers 24-12 in the paint.

“That’s a big loss when Tucker isn’t playing. That just shows you how good of a team they are,” Carmody said. “[Tucker] has the kind of athleticism that not many guys in this league can compare with.”

Something to prove: Just a week after ESPN pundit Doug Gottleib dubbed Butch the “most overrated player in the Big Ten,” the Badger center shelled out his strongest performance of the season. In addition to tallying a career-high 12 points, Butch snatched five boards and a pair of steals in just 14 minutes off the bench.

Early in the game, Butch also set the pace with back-to-back 3-pointers to reverse a brief Northwestern rally.

“He’s young yet — he’s got a lot to learn, [so] we won’t get carried away,” Ryan said. “But you gotta like a guy who gets his arm smacked inside and then steps outside and says, ‘Here, come smack this.'”

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