5 Ways Jordan Taylor Can Improve His Play

Thomas ChristianContributor IIIJanuary 19, 2012

5 Ways Jordan Taylor Can Improve His Play

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    Jordan Taylor has been largely inconsistent thus far in the 2011-2012 season despite being thought of as one of the best, if not the best point guards in the country.

    Jordan Taylor burst onto the scene in 2010-2011 when he led the nation with a 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio. He also displayed the ability to play on both sides of the court as he was elected to the 2011 Big Ten All-Defensive team on top of being honored on numerous All-American lists.

    Because of that tremendous campaign, Taylor was rewarded by being selected to the Preseason All-American team for the 2011-2012 season. The only other Wisconsin player to accomplish that feat was Michael Finley (1994-1995).

    Unlike the other four players on that preseason team, Taylor has shown inconsistencies and so have the Badgers, who have recently turned a three-game skid into a three-game winning streak.

    Here is how Jordan Taylor can improve upon his play...

Move Without the Ball

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    Jordan Taylor is very active with the ball. Without the ball... not so much. He spends a lot of time standing on the perimeter waiting for the ball to swing back to him.

    When he becomes inactive without the ball, it becomes much easier for the defense to keep the Wisconsin offense and Jordan Taylor in check.

    With Jordan Taylor moving around the court, eyes may follow and open things up for players like Mike Bruesewitz, a player that has only recently begun to find his stroke.

Post Up!

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    Bo Ryan's swing offense has been known to take advantage of mismatches. Wisconsin's big men are known to be able to shoot and the guards are more than capable of playing the post, and Jordan Taylor is no exception.

    Taylor showed the ability in 2010-2011 to score inside and out, but we have not seen that as much this season. At 6'1" and nearly 200 pounds, Taylor has the size and scoring ability to take his defender into the post.

    In a season that is seeing Taylor connect on just 33.7 percent of his three point attempts, the post may not be a bad idea to score some points.

Be More Assertive

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    Wisconsin has an impressive supporting cast that includes young guns with the ability to score in bunches. However, this is not the same Wisconsin team that featured senior leadership in Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer in 2010-2011

    Bo Ryan's 2011-2012 Badgers have shown vulnerability due to inexperienced players hitting cold streaks. With this inexperience, Taylor needs to be more assertive and not defer to his teammates as much as he does.

    Many are beginning to believe this team is Jordan Taylor or bust.

Ease Up on the Three Pointers

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    Jordan Taylor is a solid, yet streaky shooter. When the game winds down, Taylor is capable of catching fire.

    However, settling for three-pointers is not his game.

    In games where Taylor shoots five or more three-pointers, he is shooting just 31.5 percent from behind the arc.

    In games where he shoots less than five threes, Taylor is shooting 40.6 percent. While the percentage isn't stellar, it is in the ballpark of his 2010-2011 three point percentage of 43.3 percent.

    Taylor becomes a far greater scoring threat when he spaces his shot selection around the floor.

Lower the Turnovers!

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    An assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.61 is very good. However, Jordan Taylor's unmatched ability to protect the ball has helped shaped the way he is thought of around the nation. 

    Taylor led the nation in 2010-2011 with a 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio and turned the ball over just 42 times.

    He has had some troubles this season as he ranks 21st in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio and has turned the ball over 31 times.

    After averaging just 1.2 turnovers in 2010-2011, Taylor has turned the ball over three or more times in six games this season. In 2010-2011, Taylor turned the ball over three times just twice in the regular season.

    For many players, Taylor's turnovers and assist-to-turnover ratio is not a problem. For Taylor himself, it is a tiny bit uncharacteristic.