Jordan Taylor finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. His tenth assist — which would have been good for the first triple-double in Wisconsin history — was dished to Mike Bruesewitz with around one minute remaining in the game, with Brueser sitting on the baseline from around 13 feet out. Bruesewitz set his feet and let fly, watching the ball skip an inch too far and bounce off the back rim.
An inch within Wisconsin history.
Taylor proved too physical and too quick for any South Dakota guards to handle, routinely getting into the lane at will. He knocked down a variety of driving shots and dished whenever the defense collapsed, including one beautiful behind the back-look away to Rob Wilson for an easy layup.
Of course, as UW coach Bo Ryan astutely pointed out, several other guys missed some open looks, not just Bruesewitz at the end of the game. And Taylor did have one turnover in the first half that could have gone for a bucket if a better decision was made.
"The reason he came up short was he had one turnover in the first half," said Ryan. "If he ahd taking care of the ball and made the correct pass he would have had a triple-double … [laughing] … how about that performance though."
The rules are there for a reason
Two players expected to be big-time contributors this season saw their minutes cut quite drastically Saturday. Keaton Nankivil played just five minutes in the first half and two minutes in the second half, while Rob Wilson only saw time off the bench after senior walk-ons Wquinton Smith and Brett Valentyn had played first.
Wilson played just seven minutes in the game, curious to some as he was productive on the offensive end in the short spurt, going three-for-three with two assists, an offensive rebound and zero turnovers.
According to Ryan, his junior guard didn't follow some defensive rules and thus was pulled from the game.
"It is certain things that we do and we say, and when you don't do it then you need to watch," said Ryan. "So it is pretty simple. I have rules on defense and if guys aren't playing as much against certain teams it might be because they don't handle certain things well. … you just follow the rules."
Leuer set a career high in points with 29 on 11-of-21 shooting, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. Leuer scored 20 in the first half as South Dakota had no answer for the versatile big man. Few teams do.
"He is a big, big time player," South Dakota coach Dave Boots said. "He will be playing in the 'League' next year."
Taylor also set a career high with 11 rebounds. With South Dakota shooting mostly from the outside, long rebounds were there to be tracked down by the guards.
Going 3-for-5 yet again, Mike Bruesewitz now leads the team in shooting percentage at 60 percent from the season, including 58 percent from beyond the arc.