The Unstoppable Taylor

Jordan Taylor has been giving opposing coaches fits all season trying to figure out how to slow him down. His teammates have just sat back and enjoyed it.

MADISON — Oh to be a fly on the wall of an opposing coach scouting Jordan Taylor.

Indiana head coach Tom Crean is probably still muttering under his breath about it.

And now it is Ohio State head coach Thad Matta's turn to fret.

As if the Buckeyes needed any reminder of Taylor's 27 points (on 8-of-13 shooting) and seven assists, Taylor exploded for a career high 39 points Thursday at Indiana. Even more troubling for OSU, the points came the same way as the did when Taylor mounted his comeback against Ohio State — good defense, Taylor just had much better offense.

Both performances we so impressive, fellow backcourt mate Josh Gasser enjoyed watching it as much the fans did.

"Just stay out of his way," Gasser said he thought at Indiana. "That was pretty much all I was trying to do. There is not much you can do to stop him and that was just fun to see. I didn't have to do much out there, but watching him was pretty fun."

The raw numbers Taylor puts up are superb. Putting up 18.6 points per game (on 47/44/86 shooting percentage) to go along with five assists per game and the nation leading assist-to-turnover ratio are stats any guard would be proud of.

Even more impressive though, Taylor does all that while orchestrating the offense. Many of his points come with less than 10 seconds left on the shot clock when UW needs him to create something out of nothing.

"Just tough pull ups with a guy in your face," Gasser said. "That one he hit [Thursday] with the shot clock running out and he just chucked it up there, whew. That is not one we want but if he can make that, I don't know how you can stop him on that night. He finds a way to knock them down no matter where he is."

"That is the thing that separates him from everybody else, he is definitely the most important player in the conference. Jordan makes us go."

Best of all, Taylor acts as the UW gift that keeps on giving off the court.

Put simply, is there any better leader for freshman (such as the precocious Gasser) to look up to?

"There is not a better guy to look up to," Gasser said. "He even said his freshman year he was kind of a spot-up catch and shoot guy. He has worked to go off the dribble and create his shots. He has just stepped in and talked to me when I was, you know, a little frustrated or whatever. He is definitely a good guy to look up to."

Ohio State will have had a month to try and figure out a way to stop Taylor.

When asked about that, the guard just smiles and throws out the usual overly humble response.

"[Ohio State's] Aaron Craft is one of the best defenders in the Big Ten, I'm sure he will be creating havoc as usual," Taylor said.

"There are some nights where the basket looks a little bit bigger than others. It is just a matter of being confident in the shot you are taking, no matter what it is."

As countless reporters have figured out, getting Taylor to talk about himself is more difficult than stopping him on the court.

But he will admit to dreaming about beating the No. 1 team twice in the same season.

"It would be special," Taylor said.

"To beat a team like that and have that confidence under your belt heading in to the tournament would be huge."


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