Graduation weekend for three men's basketball players

<b>Rob Wilson becomes the first college graduate in his family, earning a degree in human ecology.</b>

Rob Wilson becomes the first college graduate in his family, earning a degree in human ecology.

May 18, 2012

MADISON, Wis. -- It’s graduation weekend in Madison and among the close to 70 Wisconsin student-athletes scheduled to earn their degree or participate in commencement ceremonies are three members of the UW men’s basketball team. Seniors Jordan Taylor and Rob Wilson completed their coursework in four years, while redshirt junior Ryan Evans will earn his degree this summer and begin pursuing a master’s degree.


Jordan Taylor
One of the most decorated players in Badgers basketball history, Jordan Taylor adds a prized item to his trophy case this weekend, a degree from Wisconsin.

In between preparing for the NBA draft next month, Taylor finished his finals in Madison and will graduate with a marketing emphasis from the prestigious Wisconsin School of Business.

Taylor became just the second Badger in school history to earn multiple All-American honors after being named honorable mention All-American in 2012 and second-team All-American as a junior. A first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2011 and 2012, Taylor finished seventh in UW history with 1,533 career points and set the NCAA record with a career 3.01 assist-to-turnover ratio.

In addition to playing basketball professionally – either in the NBA or overseas – Taylor has interest in broadcasting or becoming a sports agent.


Rob Wilson
The first college graduate in his family, Rob Wilson will exit the University of Wisconsin with not only a degree in human ecology – leadership studies, but also with a clear career path.

In the immediate future, Wilson will extend his basketball career by participating in a professional summer league for European prospects. Long term, Wilson has his sights set on running his own Boys & Girls Club or a similar non-profit outlet aimed at helping children.

It’s hard to decide where Wilson had the greatest impact over the past five months. A pivotal member of the Badgers’ 2011-12 Sweet 16 team, Wilson averaged 9.1 points per game over Wisconsin’s final nine contests. That stretch was highlighted by his 30-point, seven 3-pointer performance in a Big Ten tournament win over Indiana.

For his career, Wilson appeared in 117 games, scoring 317 points and grabbing 139 rebounds, while earning the 2012 Big Ten Sportsmanship award.


Ryan Evans
Having completed his redshirt junior season, Ryan Evans is set to walk this weekend in graduation ceremonies with a degree in life sciences communication. A summer class is then all that stands between Evans and his degree.

While Taylor and Wilson are making plans for their post-graduate lives, Evans is prepared to come back for his fifth and final season at Wisconsin. Evans will enroll in master’s degree classes and serve as one of four starters returning for the 2012-13 season, joining Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Josh Gasser.

Last season, Evans was a consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. He started all 36 games, reaching double-digit points in 24 games. He led UW in rebounds (6.8 avg.) and was second in points (11.0 avg.). Within the Big Ten, he ranked fifth and 24th, respectively, in those categories.

After averaging 2.8 points as a sophomore, Evans raised his scoring by 8.2 points per game as a junior. The Badgers hope he will take an even bigger step next season and end his UW career on a high note.

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