McCue: Taylor deserves spot in Naismith conversations

first_imgAs students awoke way too early Thursday to purchase their men’s basketball season ticket packages, they likely had visions of Jordan Taylor surprising critics and carrying the team through another great year.While a glance at the Badgers’ roster may leave skeptics questioning their NCAA Tournament chances again, they’re forgetting about the one-man wrecking crew of Taylor. After emerging onto the national scene after a stellar 2010-11 campaign, the senior point guard should be considered a legitimate Naismith Player of the Year candidate. Though a player from Wisconsin has never won the award, Taylor seems like the perfect man to break the streak.A second-team All-American as a junior, it seems like the national media has finally stopped overlooking Taylor, giving him a realistic shot at the Naismith Award. In addition to his All-American accolades, the Bloomington, Minn., native was one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the top point guard in the country. While such awards may seem irrelevant to this season, the fact that Taylor is already on the radar for voters across the country should provide a major boost to his chances at the Player of the Year award.Often single-handedly carrying Wisconsin on the hardwood last year, there’s no doubt that his role will on the team will only step up with the absence of forward Jon Leuer. After averaging 18 points per game while shooting over 43 percent from the field, there’s no doubt that the star point guard is ready to step in for a team that will rely on him even more than last year. On top of all the scoring, he finished with 161 assists, the third-highest number of assists in a season in Wisconsin history. Simply put, he is the Badgers’ offense this year.Sure, Taylor will place plenty of competition from the likes of Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Connecticut’s Jeremy Lamb, among others, but he should put up comparable numbers to those players. He will likely carry the Badgers to a 14th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and that could be enough success to remain a contender for the award.With Leuer still on the team last year, Taylor wasn’t even expected to be the best player to suit up for the Badgers, but he quickly proved that he was more than capable of carrying the team.Many may point out that Bo Ryan’s signature swing offense doesn’t allow players to put up big enough numbers to win a Player of the Year award, but Taylor proved last year that he has no trouble scoring in Ryan’s system. Though the swing offense is admittedly not the best system to put up gaudy numbers, Taylor showed that he can put up huge numbers by scoring 21 points in the second half over a No. 1 Ohio State team and lighting up Indiana with a career-high 39 points.As the main ball-handler for UW this season, Taylor will have no shortage of scoring opportunities. Shooting over 42 percent from behind the arc in 2010-11, he has the ability to score from anywhere on the court, and his talents go well beyond scoring. Arguably the most efficient guard in the nation last year, he led the NCAA with a 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio. Despite touching the ball more than anyone on the team, Taylor rarely turned the ball over, the true sign of a complete player. The gifted point guard is also a great defender, leading the Badgers last year with 25 steals and being named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team.The bottom line is that Taylor does it all and could be as critical to UW’s success this year as any player in the country. While this could be a breakout year for junior forward Mike Bruesewitz and sophomore Josh Gasser will play a much bigger role, the Badgers’ fate lies in the hands of Taylor.Look for Taylor to have big performances against North Carolina and continue to dominate as the Big Ten season comes on, games that could get him in Player of the Year conversations. If the junior can put up big numbers when the spotlight is on against big opponents, he could be well on his way to becoming the first Badger to earn college basketball’s top award.Wisconsin fans might feel like Taylor has little room for improvement, but he should come back an even stronger player when he returns to the floor this November after taking part in Chris Paul’s CP3 Elite Guard camp and Deron Williams’ Nike Skills Academy. Spending a summer competing against players including North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine, the senior should come back with an even more developed game.On a team often denied respect for its uncanny consistency, Taylor is the rare player that can put in a jaw-dropping season and bring more attention to the program. Sullinger will undoubtedly be the favorite, but it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the Wisconsin basketball program has exceeded expectations.Ian is a junior majoring in journalism. Do you think Jordan Taylor has a chance at winning the Naismith Award? Let him know at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @imccue.last_img read more

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Killer gas aids elephant seals deep dives

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country This elephant seal pup has a deep diving future partly thanks to high carbon monoxide in its blood.  Killer gas aids elephant seals’ deep dives Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Elizabeth PennisiNov. 1, 2017 , 10:59 AMcenter_img HALIFAX, CANADA—Colorless, odorless, and potentially lethal, carbon monoxide is so feared by people that we have special monitors in our homes to detect it. But its accumulation in the blood helps elephant seals make deep dives in the ocean, researchers reported here last week at the biennial meeting of the Marine Mammal Society. Aside from helping explain how elephant seals can stay so deep for so long, the work could one day help people recover from traumatic events like heart attacks and organ transplants.Elephant seals are remarkable divers, spending up to 1.5 hours underwater and reaching depths of more than 1700 meters in their search for food. To understand how they do this, Michael Tift, a comparative physiologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, has tracked the gases in elephant seal blood, both as they dive in the wild and as they sleep in the lab. In 2014, he and his colleagues discovered sky-high carbon monoxide levels, equivalent to those of heavy human smokers. What’s more, that level appears to be consistently high—whether the animals are diving or at rest.Moreover, the elephant seal’s blood level of carbon monoxide is 10 times higher than that of average humans, pilot whales, and killer whales, and about two to three times higher than in beluga and Weddell seals, Tift reported at the meeting. The elephant seal also has much more red blood cells than these other animals. Because red blood cells release carbon monoxide when they break down and die—which happens on a routine basis—the higher levels make sense, he says. WaterFrame/Alamy Stock Photo Email People worry about carbon monoxide exposure because the gas can bind to red blood cells and slow the delivery of oxygen to the body. But in elephant seals, this slowdown may be what enables the elephant seal to stay underwater so long, Tift told meeting attendees. He discovered that at the end of their dives, seals have 16% more oxygen in their blood than expected, thanks to how the carbon monoxide slowed oxygen use.The work “[turns] what you think you know on your head,” says Ann Pabst, a functional morphologist at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, who was not involved with the study. “We think of carbon monoxide as bad, but it’s decreasing the rate as which oxygen is [used], and that’s good.”To see just how good carbon monoxide might be, Tift is now working with biomedical researchers. Initial studies in mice indicate that a little extra carbon monoxide may have anti-inflammatory effects, protect against programmed cell death, and even slow the rate at which cells divide and spread. As they dive, elephant seals slow their heart rates to as low as three beats per minute, too slow to keep supplying most of their tissues with blood; the protective effects of carbon monoxide may help tissues cope with the sudden restoration of blood flow when the dive ends. “They go through this event with no sign of injury,” Tift says. Hearts and organ transplants require this same restoration of blood flow, and carbon monoxide may reduce the risk of damage.It’s not natural for lab mice or rats to have high carbon monoxide levels in their blood, so Tift is using the elephant seal as a model. “The goal is to see what we can learn from these amazing animals and their extreme behavior to further our knowledge in humans,” he says. “Carbon monoxide is an easy, cheap tool if we can find out how it is protecting tissue.”last_img read more

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