AP names Leuer honorable mention
Wisconsin junior guard Jordan Taylor capped a historic rise to prominence on Monday when the Associated Press in selected him as a second team All-American. Senior forward Jon Leuer earned honorable mention All-American honors as well.
Taylor becomes the third Badger to be named first or second team All-American during Bo Ryan's tenure. Most expect Taylor to be the first of Ryan's All-Americans to return for another year of school. Devin Harris left Wisconsin after his junior season and Alando Tucker was a senior during his All-American 2007 campaign. The honors for both Taylor and Leuer follow their inclusion on this year's All-Big Ten First Team.
Wisconsin fans will know in less than a month whether Taylor intends to throw his name into the NBA Draft ring.
Fellow Big Ten All-American Jared Sullinger has made news recently by insisting that he will return to Ohio State for his sophomore season. Taylor leaving the Badgers early would be just as unexpected, a possibility that not many anticipated at the start of the year.
Though Taylor struggled in the last five games, shooting just 28%, he forced his way into NBA scouts' eyes this season with his nation-best assist-to-turnover rate and penchant for hitting big shots in big spots, a la the Ohio State upset. Many national college basketball writers included Taylor in their personal All-American picks, hinting at the more official designation to come.
The deadline for players to declare for the draft process is April 24. Early entrants then only have until May 8 (up from the June 13 NBA deadline) to withdraw themselves from consideration and retain NCAA eligibility. It may be in Taylor's best interest to declare for the draft without hiring an agent just to go through the process a year early and get pointers on how he can improve for the next level. But that window is shrinking as the rules change.
Websites specializing in mock drafts are always a work in progress, but in Taylor's case there is some consensus that he would be considered a second-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Draft Express projects Taylor as the 32rd pick in next year's draft, while NBADraft.net lists him as the 55th pick.