Sweet Senior Day

first_imgIt was the storybook ending in Wisconsin’s 52-50 victory over Michigan State Saturday for Jason Chappell, Kammron Taylor and Alando Tucker on Senior Day.Chappell provided solid post-defense, chipping in with a game-high two steals.Tucker shouldered the Badgers’ scoring load all game with 26 points — half of Wisconsin’s total points.Taylor, however, struggled to find his shooting touch. Thirty-one minutes into the game, UW’s senior point guard hadn’t hit a field goal, but that quickly changed.With 8:15 remaining in the second half, Taylor knocked down a 3-pointer in transition to give Wisconsin a 38-34 lead. Yet, his most important field goal came in the closing seconds of the game.Down 50-49, the Badgers called a timeout with 11.7 seconds left in the game. The last play was designed to have Taylor roll off a Tucker screen at the top of the key and then to make the best decision. His choice: shoot it.Taylor sank the 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining to end his Kohl Center career on a high note.”[Taylor] made a heck of a shot,” MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. “He hasn’t been making many lately, but I guess that’s the way it’s written in Hollywood when you’re a senior.”The shot certainly got the monkey off Taylor’s back that has been bothering him over the past three games. After a 0-for-6, two-point performance at Michigan State and the Ohio State game that saw him miss a crucial free throw and the last shot, Saturday looked like it was going to be much of the same for Taylor. However, one shot may have changed it all.”This week has been rough,” Taylor said. “But it ended on a good note — to go out on a win on your home court and the way just everything played out. This makes everything worth it.”Despite his recent struggles, Taylor still had the confidence to take the last shot.”I’m not that type of person to lose confidence in my shot,” Taylor said. “It would be a lie if I said I didn’t want to take the shot.”Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan didn’t lose confidence in Taylor, either, as he put the ball in his point guard’s hand at the end of the game.”That’s Kam — he’s not going to let [missed shots] deter him,” Ryan said.Following the game, the sellout crowd at the Kohl Center was treated to a video montage honoring the Badgers’ senior class of 2007.The seniors each had their own highlight reel and segment thanking various people for helping them over their respective careers. Most thanked family, coaches and fans, but Taylor had a particular person he had to show his appreciation to.”I’d like to thank Devin Harris for leaving and giving me a chance to play,” Taylor joked about the Badger legend who declared for the NBA a year early after Taylor’s freshman season.The post-game ceremony brought up some old memories for Wisconsin’s three seniors, but they said there is plenty to more to come as the trio has yet to reach their goal.”It might be a bold statement, but a national title (is the goal),” Tucker said.last_img

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