MADISON, WI (WHBL) - Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan says he’s confident that a strong leader will emerge to replace departed point guard Jordan Taylor. At the team’s media day, Ryan said it’s amazing how young men step up and, after 40 years of coaching, he says he has all the faith in the world that new leaders will emerge.
Taylor graduated after being an All-American honorable mention last season. But the Badgers still have a solid core from the team which made the N-C-A-A Sweet-16 round last March. Wisconsin has three senior forwards – Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren, and Mike Bruesewitz. And junior point guard Josh Gasser is expected to move into Taylor’s old spot. Bruesewitz is due back next month after a severe leg cut that needed 50 stitches. The Badgers still have players that provided 71 percent of last year’s scoring, and 84-percent of last season’s rebounds. And Ryan says they’ll need to gel earlier than last year, because of a tough non-conference schedule that includes five teams which played in last spring’s N-C-A-A tourney.
Ryan also plans to get freshman Sam Dekker into the mix quickly. Dekker was the state’s top high school player a year ago, averaging 32 points and 13 rebounds in leading Sheboygan Lutheran to a state title. Ryan says Dekker wants to be a complete player – and knows he has a lot to learn.