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Badger Bits: Do the Badgers have a second-best player?

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Inconsistent as he may be, Jordan Taylor's role as the leader of the team is certain. Not that he needed to, but Bo Ryan made it very clear how he felt about his point guard after the Badgers knocked off Ohio State Sunday. I'm as guilty as anyone of criticizing Taylor, but he is the Badgers' best player.

But after Taylor? I'm not so sure. You could certainly make an argument for any of three, or maybe even four players.

Based on stats alone, the much-improved Ryan Evans might be the favorite. Evans has evolved into a semi-reliable source of offense (10.7 points-per-game, second on the team) and rebounds like a man who is three inches taller (seven per game, fifth in the Big Ten). That said, he still occasionally makes the silly mistakes that drew the ire of Badger fans last season and his shooting numbers (42.9 FG%, 21.7 3PT%) aren't anything special.

You could also make an argument for defensive anchors Josh Gasser and Jared Berggren. Gasser always guards the opponents' best wing, and has really improved his shooting touch (45.5 3PT%). Ditto for Berggren, who shut down Jared Sullinger and scored 18 points (including Wisconsin's last seven of the game) in his finest two-way performance of the season Sunday.

Then there's Mike Bruesewitz. With the offensive development of Wisconsin's other players and a fickle jump shot, Brueser hasn't been featured prominently in Wisconsin's offense or on the stat sheet. But he brings hustle and grit the Badgers would certainly miss if he wasn't around, and always seems to make the big shot.

Who do you think is the Badgers' second best player?


Here's John's look at the week ahead.

The Badgers take on Minnesota tonight, a team that was on the tournament bubble not too long ago but now has fallen into troubling times.

The players are using the quick turnaround between games as practice for the postseason.

Jeff Potrykus says the Badgers' road win over the Buckeyes and the Gophers' home loss to Indiana Sunday say a lot about each of the programs.

The Badgers are up to second place in BT Powerhouse's latest conference power rankings.

To ESPN's Eamon Brennan, Sunday's win wasn't about what the Badgers did, but about what's wrong with Ohio State. Shakes head.

Wisconsin running backs coach Thomas Hammock will stay with Wisconsin after interviewing with the St. Louis Rams a few days ago.

Bret Bielema picked up the first commitment in what will likely be another small recruiting class.

Wisconsin's talented but mistake-prone secondary came in sixth in the ESPN Big Ten duo's postseason defensive back rankings.

The NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Here's Chuck with a look at three former Badgers that were on the move this week.