The Bucks are again looking at familiar Wisconsin faces as possible second round prospects. Last year, Jon Leuer parlayed a strong draft workout into a second round draft pick and now his former Wisconsin teammate Jordan Taylor and Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom are in a similar position. Oregon State’s Jarred Cunningham, Dayton’s Chris Johnson, Syracuse’s Kris Joseph and Washington’s Tony Wroten joined the pair in a guard heavy-workout.
“He (Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan) always says all you can ask for is a chance,” Taylor said. “You’re never guaranteed anything, not in basketball or anything you do. It’s up to you to go show what you can do.”
Taylor is very similar to former Bucks guard Terrell Brandon: both are undersized and excellent ball protectors. Taylor’s NCAA career 3.01 assist-to-turnover ratio is both the NCAA record and close to Brandon’s NBA career 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Whether Taylor has Brandon’s playmaking ability is a question as there aren’t many playmaking opportunities in the Wisconsin offense.
“It’s just another opportunity,” Taylor said. “It’s all I’ve ever asked for as a player. I’ve always been undersized, maybe not the fastest, whatever.”
Johnson-Odom is an inch taller and 20 lbs heavier than Taylor and he’s considered undersized for the NBA. His NBA hopes rest on his 40.4 college three-point percentage translating to the pro game.
Johnson-Odom is a stronger second-round prospect than Taylor. He was an original invitee to the NBA’s Chicago draft combine that Taylor wasn’t invited to until late.
Wroten was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a First-Team All-Pac-12 Selection. It should be noted that the Pac-12 is where basketball goes to die. He averaged 16 points, 5.3 boards, and 3.7 assists in his single college season.
Johnson has already worked out for Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Washington; he seems to be a strong candidate to be picked up in the second round. He was an honorable mention in the Atlantic 10 in his last two seasons.
Cunningham was also a member of the Pac-12’s first team with Wroten. He’s a strong defender with two Pac-12 defensive team honors and is second all-time in steals for Oregon State.
Joseph was on several awards preseason watch lists and was the starting point guard for a Syracuse team that went 34-3. He averaged 13.4 points and 4.7 rebounds.