Colgate-Wisconsin Preview

BY foxsports • November 15, 2011

One of the most potent scoring threats in the Big Ten, Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor may be capable of single-handedly carrying the team offensively.

If the season opener is any indication, however, he won't need to.

Taylor and the 14th-ranked Badgers look to build on a tremendous team effort when they host Colgate on Wednesday night.

Taylor, the only senior selected as an AP preseason All-American, finished fourth in the conference with an average of 18.1 points in 2010-11, right behind teammate Jon Leuer's mark of 18.3. With Leuer no longer around, Taylor was expected to carry the load this season.

It was his teammates, though, who shined brightest during Saturday's 85-31 rout of Kennesaw State.

Sophomore guards Josh Gasser and Ben Brust each scored a team-high 14 points and made four 3-pointers. Swingman Ryan Evans added 13 points while big man Jared Berggren and Taylor had 11.

The Badgers (1-0) attempted 25 3-pointers and made 15 - the second-highest total in school history - while shooting 58.8 percent overall.

"We've been saying for a while now that we have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the hole, and guys who have been waiting for their opportunity to step up," Taylor said. "This year there is a lot of opportunity for a lot of guys. It's just exciting to see unselfish play and everybody knocking down shots, it just kind of shows what we are capable of."

Taylor had just eight field-goal attempts - he averaged 13.2 last season - and seems more than content to find his teammates when the opportunity presents itself. He had seven assists Saturday, two shy of a career high.

"I think teams are kind of shading to me or closing out pretty hard and like I said, we have a lot of guys who can score," he said. "It's not coach (Bo) Ryan's system or it's anybody's personality on our team to take a contested shot."

Wisconsin, the Big Ten leader in scoring defense each of the last two seasons, held the Owls to 23.3 percent shooting and eight first-half points - the fewest it has surrendered since 1947.

The Badgers have won 38 of 39 at the Kohl Center, including 20 straight by an average of 20.5 points - the fifth-longest home winning streak in the history of the program.

Wisconsin has never faced Colgate but is 4-0 all-time against teams from the Patriot League.

The Raiders (1-0) are coming off their first season-opening win since 2008, prevailing 78-74 at Binghamton on Saturday. Fifth-year senior guard Mike Venezia hit four 3-pointers and scored a team-best 22 points while senior forward Sterling Melville had a career-high 17.

Colgate was outscored by an average of 54.5 points in two games against ranked opponents last season - 110-58 at then-No. 1 Duke and 100-43 at then-No. 8 Syracuse.

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