Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Men’s hoops denies UW-Stevens Point in exhibition

Guard Jordan Taylor took a backseat in the scoring effort Saturday but led with eight assists.[/media-credit]

The Wisconsin men’s basketball team broke the 2010-11 season’s ice with an 80-54 victory in Saturday’s exhibition game against UW-Stevens Point at the Kohl Center.

Preseason All-American guard Jordan Taylor paced the Badger offense with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field along with seven assists, while two reserve players from a year ago, redshirt junior Ryan Evans and sophomore Ben Brust, led the way on the scoreboard for the Badgers.

Evans led the team with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field while adding five rebounds and three steals. Brust chipped in another 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, tops on the team.


Although eight points in 30 minutes of play may not be what most people had in mind for Taylor in the season tune-up, the senior played a near-flawless game by engineering baskets for his teammates.

“[UWSP was] doing a good job of taking some things away and making Jordan make decisions,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “But you didn’t see him force, you didn’t see him do anything other than get his teammates real good shots or the pass that led to the pass that gave a guy a good shot. That’s when you know you have a good point guard.”

Taylor attempted his first shot eight minutes in and didn’t convert until he took his next shot two minutes later.

“Jordan wasn’t looking to do anything tonight other than run the show and when shots were there [take them],” Ryan said. “That was a great job of orchestrating the offense.”

Taylor’s orchestration began soon after tip-off when, on the Badgers’ first possession, he drove toward the basket from the top of the key and kicked the ball out to forward Mike Bruesewitz on the wing. The 6-foot-6 junior, who finished the night with seven points, pulled up and hit the three-pointer.

Wisconsin’s control of the game never wavered from there, as the Badgers established a 10-point cushion after 10 minutes of play and a 45-33 lead at the half, despite UWSP shooting 61.9 percent from the field in the first period.

UW finished the night shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 50 percent from the arc.

The Pointers went on to shoot just about half as well in the second half, but Ryan still mentioned after the game that UW’s frontcourt defense still has some work to do before the conference season arrives.

“The front line needs to get more repetitions and that’s what these non-conference and exhibition games are for,” Ryan said. “I think, offensively, we did some nice things, but defensively, a much better job of reading and reacting in the second half.”

Due to three starting big men graduating from the Badgers last season, UW’s frontcourt is currently undergoing a bit of a makeover. Ryan’s starting lineup on Saturday included returning starters Taylor and Josh Gasser at the guard positions while Bruesewitz, Evans and redshirt junior Jared Berggren rounded out the frontcourt.

Evans made it clear how comfortable he is in a starting role for UW.

“I like to be starting, I’m going to keep it real,” Evans said. “There’s more opportunities and [Berggren and I are] glad to have that. In the past years, we liked to play in roles and that type of thing but we obviously do want to be starting and helping the team along with Jordan.”

Guard Traevon Jackson also received the most playing time among UW freshman, putting in 17 minutes and made his first appearance on the floor at the 12:06 mark in the first half.

Jackson hit two of four shots, including one three-pointer, and finished with five points. He also tacked on two rebounds and assists.

Along with Brust, Jackson had the rest of the team feeling good about depth in the backcourt.

“Ben, all of last year we knew the way he used to light us up on scout team a little bit sometimes,” Taylor said. “Trae is a welcome element to the team that we are ready to have step in and get some good minutes like he did tonight.”

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