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Badger Bits: Taylor receives late invite to NBA draft combine

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Taylor, who led the Badgers to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, is looking for an NBA team to give him a shot at the next level.
Taylor, who led the Badgers to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, is looking for an NBA team to give him a shot at the next level.

Former Badgers' guard Jordan Taylor received good news from his agent this weekend when he heard he had been invited to the NBA draft combine in Chicago. The event takes place this Thursday and Friday and only features 60 of the nation's best NBA prospects, a list Taylor originally did not make.

Taylor will need to impress NBA executives, given the fact most NBA mock drafts do not even have Taylor as one of their top ten point guards and do not believe he will hear Commissioner David Stern call his name during the June 28 draft.

At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Taylor does not possess the freakish physical skills of many of today's NBA starting point guards like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. The lack of playmaking ability and his streaky shooting (his field goal percentage just over 40%) certainly have hurt his stock, but those have never been Taylor's best attributes. Instead, he takes special care of the basketball -- he had a career 3.01 assist-to-turnover-ratio, an NCAA record -- and demonstrates strong leadership skills on and off the court.

The NBA combine is crucial for Taylor, but it is only one way for athletes to showcase their skills. The Badgers' former point guard has been busy in recent months, already having worked out for four NBA teams. He most recently took part in a workout for the Milwaukee Bucks and plans to work out for at least five more teams before draft time.

The reason for Taylor's late invite to the combine is uncertain, but that remains irrelevant at this point. It is already evident what he will contribute to a team at the next level, but there is no better place for Taylor to make a lasting impression than in Chicago later this week. Receiving an invite to the combine should help his draft stock, but with just over three weeks until draft day, the pressure is on Taylor to show his worth this week.

Tuesday's Links:

Cool story from BTN, aggregating the top tweets from Big Ten athletes from yesterday.

No surprise BTN's guys have Montee Ball as the front runner to be the Big Ten leading scorer again, but they also point out some dark horses who could challenge Ball.

You may be as shocked as I am to see Tom Dienhart's rankings of the top receiving corps in the conference.

It's no shocker that Ohio State pays its football coaches more than any other Big Ten school, but see how the rest of the conference stacks up against the Buckeyes.

Wisconsin began football summer workouts yesterday, and Danny O'Brien is cleared to play and ready to start tackling the playbook. O'Brien tweeted yesterday, "All cleared...the grind to 1-0 starts tomorrow!" (looks like Bielema's already rubbed off on him).