Grades: Taylor Does Best Chitwood Impression

Jordan Taylor poured in 39 points to help lead the Badgers to a superb 1.45 points per possession outing in the 77-67 win over Indiana Thursday.

MADISON — Jordan Taylor is the Big Ten Player of the Year.

The votes may not tally that way in a week. But it is absolutely, unequivocally true.

The 39-point explosion Thursday was not even Taylor's best game of the season. That would be his transcendent performance as he carried Wisconsin to victory over then-undefeated Ohio State. Although the Hoosiers could be forgiven if they disagree, seeing as it was Taylor's seven three-pointers that led to Wisconsin's 77-67 victory.

He leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio and is on his way to setting an NCAA record in the category. He is — BY FAR — the most efficient offensive player in the Big Ten.

And his play in the clutch speaks for itself.

Offense: A+

The Badgers slow pace of play continues to mask the fact that they are the best offensive team in the country when they get on a roll. Behind Taylor's shoot-until-you miss outburst, UW chalked up 1.45 points per possession Thursday. For those who don't know, they currently lead the entire NCAA, averaging 1.25 PPP and topping that by another 0.2 PPP is no easy feat.

Besides the fact that Taylor's seven-of-eight shooting from beyond the arc is a back breaking experience for an opponent just from a points on the board stand point, it is the manner in which the shots come about that probably hurts the most.

Almost everyone of Taylor's deep-daggers comes with the shot clock under ten in a one-on-one situation. But you can absolutely not let him get in the lane, where he made two and-ones Thursday night and is just as efficient.

Really, we are running out of adjectives to describe his sublime play at point guard after games like this.

If it wasn't Taylor killing the Hoosiers, Nankivil was certainly making them pay for leaving him open on the perimeter. The sweet-shooting big man knocked down all four of his first attempts and finished the game with 16 points on 11 shots.

Indiana seemed to forget the scouting report each time a UW player penetrated the lane, leaving Nankivil way to open for easy looks at the top of the arc. At this point in the season, every Big Ten defender should know that is his sweet spot.

The Hoosiers made a concentrated effort to double team Jon Leuer every time he touched the ball in the post with mixed results. True, they never let Leuer get going on offense — though he did reach 10 points for his 36th straight double-digit scoring game — but the scramble situations allowed both Nankivil and Taylor to free themselves for open shots with great results.

It may seem obvious to say, but the Badgers are nearly unbeatable when Taylor is shooting well from the outside because he doesn't leave defenses any options then for how to defend Nankivil or Leuer. Coaches must pull what is left of their hair out when scouting for all the different ways Wisconsin can beat you.

Defense: C-

Thank goodness UW is so good at putting the ball in the basket because this has officially become the worst defensive squad ever under Bo Ryan.

Indiana scored at a very good 1.26 PPP and never let UW blow them out by continuing to respond on offense after each Taylor bucket.

The Badgers struggled to contain penetration — especially off ball-screen situations — and always seemed a step late rotating over to help. This got Leuer in foul trouble, limiting him to 29 minutes and forced Taylor to shoulder the scoring load (something he was up for, but still, not a thing to make a habit of).

For all his supposed athleticism, Ryan Evans just does not have the positive impact on the defensive end to justify his cringe-inducing offensive game. He got a rebound taken away from him and was late in recovery for a Jordan Hulls three pointer.

On the plus side, Mike Bruesewitz finally showed off his rebounding skills that he flashed all of last season, pulling down seven boards in total and three on the offensive end.

Overall: B+

The offense can be dazzling and the defense can be frustrating, but any 10-point win on the road is a good thing.

Now Wisconsin needs to build on it — and work on the pick-and-roll in practice.

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