Gophers fans could have played what-if games for the past few seasons about Wisconsin's point guard, Jordan Taylor, the Benilde-St. Margaret's grad who has been a key member of Minnesota's basketball migration to the Badgers.
For the record, that list includes center Jared Berggren of Princeton, forward Mike Bruesewitz of Henry Sibley and guard Jordan Smith of Orono on the current roster -- aod forward Jon Leuer of Orono, now playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.
What could have been for Gophers fans if the borders had been locked down more tightly.
There, we said it. Now, we're done with it.
Thursday night, Taylor got to play out the scenario he'd imagined on his driveway hoop, at the Benilde summer camp and anyplace else he had been shooting since he was old enough to grasp March Madness.
After the loss to No. 1-seed Syracuse, Taylor said in the Boston Herald that he played that scene “a ton of times, going back to the time when I was like 5 playing against myself. So it’s kind of tough to get the chance and not be able to hit that shot.”
Taylor finished the night with 17 points -- including 5 three-pointers -- and six assists.
The final game in the 64-63 loss came on an NBA-range three that was the best Wisconsin could get.
As Dan Duggan wrote in the Herald: "Taylor deserved better. The point guard has been Wisconsin’s leader all season and he played like it last night. With the Badgers unable to penetrate Syracuse’s suffocating 2-3 zone of length and athleticism, they were forced to resort to long bombs to keep pace."
Here's the rest of Duggan's report from the regional in Boston.
Taylor had a fine career at Wisconsin, finishing with All Big Ten first-team honors from conference coaches (he was on the media's second team) and under consideration for an assortment of other awards. He was the sort of leader that Minnesota hasn't had at the point for a few years -- the sort of player that Gophers fans now hope Dre Hollins came become, perhaps.
And when you have three minutes, here's a video salute from one his fans:
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