Among the best Wisconsin Badgers players who have come through Wisconsin while Bo Ryan has been head coach, Devin Harris was the best point guard.
Mavericks guard Devin Harris has played for four teams over 10 seasons and has career averages of 12.5 points, 4.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds.
Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports
By Jesse Temple
During his 13 seasons in charge of Wisconsin's basketball program, Bo Ryan has guided the Badgers to new heights. His teams have reached the NCAA tournament every season, he has five Big Ten titles, a school-record 321 victories and most recently helped UW reach its first Final Four in 14 years.
Of course, great players are needed to achieve great success. And Ryan certainly has had his fair share of talent. So, who are the best players in the Ryan era? Who would make the "All-Bo Starting 5" from his past 13 teams? FOXSportsWisconsin.com seeks an answer to the question this week and will reveal a new "Starting 5" member each day.
The criteria to make the list include overall impact on Bo-coached teams, statistics and team success. There are a mix of both backcourt and frontcourt players to provide different positions on the court. In other words, there are not five point guards or five forwards on the team.
Harris arrived at Wisconsin during Ryan's first season in charge of the program, and the tandem helped put Ryan on the map immediately. The Badgers earned at least a share of first in the Big Ten in each of their first two seasons together. During Harris' three seasons at Wisconsin, the Badgers went 68-28 and reached the NCAA tournament each year.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder from Milwaukee increased his scoring average in each of his three seasons, from 12.3 points to 12.7 to 19.5 during his junior year -- the second-highest scoring average by a player during the Ryan era. He was the consensus 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year and was named a second-team Associated Press All-America pick.
Harris broke Michael Finley's single-season scoring record with 624 points in 2004, which later was topped by Alando Tucker in 2007. He also was one of just two UW players in program history to start every game as a freshman, sophomore and junior, joining Rick Olson. His 164 steals ranked fourth in program history. If Harris had stayed for his senior season, he likely would have finished third in program history in scoring.
Post-Wisconsin basketball career:
Harris became the highest draft pick of the Bo Ryan era when he was taken fifth overall in the 2004 NBA Draft and was sent from Washington to Dallas in a draft-night trade. He has played for four teams over 10 seasons and currently is in his second stint with the Mavericks. Harris has career averages of 12.5 points, 4.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds. In 2008-09, he averaged a career-high 21.3 points per game for New Jersey and made his only all-star game appearance.
Who would be Harris' backup?
Jordan Taylor put together a stellar college career in his own right and was a preseason first-team All-America pick before his senior year in 2011-12. He broke the NCAA career assists-to-turnovers ratio with a 3.01 mark, finished seventh in UW history in career points (1,533), second in assists (464) and fourth in minutes (3,950). During his four seasons, Wisconsin's record was 95-41.