Grinnell College's Jack Taylor scores All-NCAA record 138 points
November 21, 2012 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Yes, he only shot 48% from the floor, but last night, Jack Taylor, a sophomore guard from Div. III Grinnell College in Iowa, set a new men's NCAA basketball scoring record (on any level) by dropping in 138 points in Grinnell's 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible. This is the "insane" boxscore. You know a player has a big game when an opposing player (Faith Baptist Bible's David Larson) scores 70 points and becomes a footnote. So how'd he do it?

Grinnell College's Head Coach is David Arseneault and he calls his Run-and-Gun offense "The System". Grinnell's math department runs an analysis (PDF). For those wanting the Cliff's Notes: "Coach David Arseneault's "system" incorporates a continual full-court press, a fast-paced offense, an emphasis on offensive rebounding, a barrage of three-point shots and substitutions of five players at a time every 35 to 40 seconds. This allows a higher average playing time for more players than the "starters" and suits the Division III goals of scholar-athletes. "The System" has been criticized for not teaching the principles of defense. However, under "The System," Grinnell has won three conference championships over the past ten years and have regularly placed in the top half of the conference." (Wikipedia). Here is a video of just a few of the 27 three-pointers he had in the game. Even Kobe's impressed. If the server isn't overwhelmed, a replay of the game can be seen here. As you can tell from the pregame, setting records are their goals. You'll notice that Jack Taylor missed 56 shots.
posted by spock (63 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
What kind of cracks me up is that he had zero assists
posted by 4ster at 9:53 AM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


(recycled sportsfilter comment:) Actually, he was 38% for 3-pointers, and 67.5% otherwise. His overall percentage doesn't look so good because more than 2/3 of the shots he took were from 3-point range.
posted by LionIndex at 9:53 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ball hog!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


McPaper article, with a few more facts.
posted by spock at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2012


The ties in with the story from CA about a tech guy who coached his girls basketball team that way (full press, quick layups etc), that was featured here.
posted by k5.user at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


This dynamite, it booms?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:02 AM on November 21, 2012 [12 favorites]


Another Grinnellian used to have the Division III record. (Go Pioneers!)
posted by Area Man at 10:02 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a question for basketball nerds. I've always thought that the end-all of basketball would be selection and training of players who are amazingly good shots; so good that they can reliably make full-court shots with a high rate of success. The game would devolve into the ball being hurled back and forth, full court, rendering all of the traditional ball-handling and defensive skills obsolete. Why hasn't this happened?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:03 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I grew up in the town where the previous record got set by Bevo Francis (113 points if I remember correctly). I never met him, but I also never met anyone who had a single bad word to say about Bevo. He kept a tiny college that was on the verge of closing alive. He took that team to Madison Square Garden and beat Wake Forest. After college, he played for a while for the team that lost to the Harlem Globetrotters before the Washington Generals and got drafted by the Warriors, but apparently the money he could make going back home and working in a factory was better than what he could make playing for the NBA in the late 50s, so that's what he did. There are still people out there, at this point mostly men in their 80s, who, when you mention Rio Grande, get a glint in their eye and say, "Bevo! Bevo Francis!"

He still has the record for most points per game in a season at 50, and he scored all those points without a 3 point line and without missing 50 shots in a game. The University of Rio Grande and Bevo Francis will both still struggle on without this particular record, but it does make me a little sad to see their one claim to fame taken away.
posted by Copronymus at 10:05 AM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Because that would be extremely difficult.
posted by Benjy at 10:06 AM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


that video had him moving past a triple-team and dropping it in.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:06 AM on November 21, 2012


Another Grinnellian used to have the Division III record. (Go Pioneers!)

That guy was Griffin Lentsch, who was actually in the game last night. He had 7 points.
posted by fleacircus at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2012


Another fun fact. Grinnell, a college of 1,688 students has the tenth largest endowment of any school, at 1.26 billion dollars.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


The three-point line will be the ruination of the game, mark my words.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I may have scored 70 points, in total, my entire life, so I'm in awe of both Mr. Larson and Mr. Taylor.
posted by tommasz at 10:11 AM on November 21, 2012


Why hasn't this happened?

Because no amount of selection and training would result in a team who can do that. It's the same reason nobody has dominated the PGA by always getting holes-in-one, why no baseball team is made up of an entire line-up of players who hit a home run every time and never strike out, why no football team is made up entirely of players so fast they cannot be tackled, and any number of other scenarios that would rely on a squad of players with abilities so far beyond those of the game that not a single person has ever demonstrated them.

If it were possible, by training, to consistently hit full-court basketball shots, odds are there would be at least one person in the world known for having developed that ability. There is not one.
posted by The World Famous at 10:13 AM on November 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Reporter: Hey Antoine, why do you shoot so many threes?

Antoine Walker: Because there are no fours.
posted by antonymous at 10:13 AM on November 21, 2012 [18 favorites]


There are still people out there, at this point mostly men in their 80s, who, when you mention Rio Grande, get a glint in their eye and say, "Bevo! Bevo Francis!"

This the real shame. The record in now held by a guy with the completely anonymous name of "Jack Taylor" instead of a guy who shares his name only with the Texas mascot and a defunct brand of near-beer.

Jack Taylor probably isn't in the top ten sporting Jacks, but Bevo Francis is probably the best Bevo ever. (I hate Texas and near-beer)
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:14 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Deadspin: D-III Player’s 138 Point-Game Is A Sham Record And Shouldn’t Be Celebrated By Anyone
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:15 AM on November 21, 2012 [15 favorites]


The game would devolve into the ball being hurled back and forth, full court, rendering all of the traditional ball-handling and defensive skills obsolete. Why hasn't this happened?

That actually sounds like most games I play. In a bad way though.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 10:16 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


qxntpqbbbqxl - The invention of the 3-point shot has been making basketball more of a long range game, or at least more of an inside-out game, to the detriment of mid-range shooting. Larry Bird is thought of as one of the greatest shooters of all time and at the most averaged about 3 3-point attempts a game. Ray Allen at his peak averaged 8 3-point attempts a game.

The reason players aren't chucking up half-court shots every possession is that there's no extra reward for the extra risk of the longer shot. It's a 3 point shot if you're right on the line, or if you're 50 feet from the basket. That's why the worst shot to take in basketball is a step inside the 3-point line. It's just as difficult a shot as a three, but only scores two points. Now, if they instituted MTV Rock'N'Jock basketball rules and give more points for a half-court shot we might see them happen more often.
posted by thecjm at 10:18 AM on November 21, 2012


Re Deadspin, the idea that an offensive system designed to coax the other team into accepting two-point shots while shooting mostly threes is illegitimate is stupid. It's a strategy.

The part where Grinnell was playing a team that isn't in the NCAA - that deserves some attention.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on November 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Another fun fact. Grinnell, a college of 1,688 students has the tenth largest endowment of any school, at 1.26 billion dollars.

Not to derail, but Grinnell isn't even in the top 25. This data is from 2011, but after this year's record breaking hauls from Stanford, Austin, Harvard, MIT and Columbia, the gap will be even larger.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:24 AM on November 21, 2012


If it were possible, by training, to consistently hit full-court basketball shots, odds are there would be at least one person in the world known for having developed that ability. There is not one.

Fair point. My reasoning is that people can do all kinds of other crazy circus stuff, some of which intuitively seems a lot harder than full or half-court shots.

The reason players aren't chucking up half-court shots every possession is that there's no extra reward for the extra risk of the longer shot.

Wouldn't the fact that you're undefended at half court be an advantage?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:24 AM on November 21, 2012


Grinnell is an interesting place. It is an island of leftist politics in conservative rural Iowa. It is also a great place to see live music for free, whether you are a student or not. I've seen Yo La Tengo, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Shock G, Murs, Jandek (could NOT believe this one when it happened), The Dismemberment Plan, Deerhoof, and I can't remember who else for absolutely FREE at this school and I've never been a student. They even allow you to bring beer into the shows so long as it's not in glass.

The only problem is that now I'm in my 30s and don't recognize any of the bands anymore.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:25 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good for them. "golf clap". This leaves me hollow much like looking through the guinness book of records used to, or exploiting an online game. Yup, they showed it could be done. They got their record. Was it entertaining or rewarding for any other than those immediately associated with the team? I can't be bothered to watch and find out.
posted by oshburghor at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2012


all playing Dhalsim in Street Fighter II and just hitting kick over and over
posted by theodolite at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't the fact that you're undefended at half court be an advantage?

Some NBA players, the ones that can't shoot, are usually undefended if they have the ball at the 3-point line. I can guarantee if a player started shooting from half-court the team playing against him would put on the press after two or three attempts and everyone would guard him tightly from that point forward.
posted by thecjm at 10:28 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's got to cut down on those turnovers.
posted by Mister_A at 10:32 AM on November 21, 2012


Not to derail, but Grinnell isn't even in the top 25. This data is from 2011, but after this year's record breaking hauls from Stanford, Austin, Harvard, MIT and Columbia, the gap will be even larger.

It wouldn't put Grinnell in the top 10, I don't think, but it seems weird to count the entire University of Texas system and the entire UC system as single universities, which is what that list does. I mean, divide the UC endowment 10 (or even 11 if Hastings counts separately) ways and it's a lot less than Grinnell's.
posted by hoyland at 10:34 AM on November 21, 2012


Grinnell has the largest endowment of any US liberal arts college (partly a result of Warren Buffett spending over a decade on the board, encouraging donations from the very well-heeled). It has the tenth largest endowment on a per student basis of any US post-secondary institution.
posted by dhartung at 10:35 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a team they took 117 shots in 40 minutes?? UNPOSSIBLE!

Also, Jack me boy, you've got to do better than 70% at the line.

Also also - didn't the Biblicans figure out that Jack was probably going to shoot - couldnt they double him and maybe even foul him now and again? Ten free throws attempted against 108 shots is nothing!
posted by Mister_A at 10:38 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Deadspin: D-III Player’s 138 Point-Game Is A Sham Record And Shouldn’t Be Celebrated By Anyone

It's ironic that the author brings up Wilt Chamberlain's record because it's almost the exact same thing. The shot clock had just been introduced and it turned basketball from a slow strategic affair where teams in the lead would purposely run out the clock, to a much more fast-paced run-and-gun style of game. For a while the best way to win was to give the ball to someone like Wilt and let him chuck up shots and grab rebounds from misses all game. Teams don't play that way anymore and probably never will so it's impossible to get those kinds of stats in the NBA anymore, but a lot of people think those records mean that no one has ever been able to match Chamberlain's scoring or rebounding ability.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:39 AM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah that makes sense, dhartung. Penn's endowment is over 6B and is middle of the ivies - made me wonder how on earth 1.6B or whatever the figure is could be top 10.
posted by Mister_A at 10:40 AM on November 21, 2012


Best thing about going to Grinnell: people always think you said Cornell and then look disappointed when you clarify.
posted by Area Man at 10:44 AM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I interviewed for a tenure-track teaching job at Grinnell last year, but didn't get it :(
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:54 AM on November 21, 2012


My reasoning is that people can do all kinds of other crazy circus stuff, some of which intuitively seems a lot harder than full or half-court shots.

I think you're severely underestimating the difficulty of making a full or half court shot with any sort of regularity.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:58 AM on November 21, 2012


Can't find it now, but one comment on YouTube said that if somebody tried that in his 'hood they'd go up for a shot and end up with an "accidental" elbow catheter. That would take care of that.
posted by spock at 11:04 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone can hit a bunch of three-pointers. A whole team imitating the best of the Washington Generals takes talent.
posted by three blind mice at 11:05 AM on November 21, 2012


Can't find it now, but one comment on YouTube said that if somebody tried that in his 'hood they'd go up for a shot and end up with an "accidental" elbow catheter. That would take care of that.

Honestly, I'm kind of shocked this doesn't happen in Grinnell games. If a team was clearly trying to drop a record on me for no other reason than to get on Sportscenter? I'd probably want to commit a few hard fouls. Those Baptists must be better people than I am.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:13 AM on November 21, 2012


Obvious ?
posted by spock at 11:24 AM on November 21, 2012


tommasz: I think I may have scored 70 points, in total, my entire life, so I'm in awe of both Mr. Larson and Mr. Taylor.
Me too. Only, substitute "bowling" for "basketball."

They're very similar, if you're drunk enough. What? Like you never dribbled an 8-lb ball...
posted by IAmBroom at 11:42 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Teams don't play that way anymore and probably never will so it's impossible to get those kinds of stats in the NBA anymore

You might want to have a word with Kobe about that.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:59 AM on November 21, 2012


substitutions of five players at a time every 35 to 40 seconds.

WTF? How is that even possible? Is D-III basketball a bizarro world where you can change on the fly?
posted by dry white toast at 12:24 PM on November 21, 2012


I think you're severely underestimating the difficulty of making a full or half court shot with any sort of regularity.

I know a couple of people who are freakishly good at this. I had a friend in college who would regularly win bets that he could make one from half court before the other person could hit 5 from the free throw line. He was freakishly good at anything requiring aim. Darts, pool, etc. He was terrible at every other aspect of playing basketball. Dribbling, rules, running 20 feet without falling down.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:45 PM on November 21, 2012


Does this mean that the best offense isn't a good defense?
posted by ckape at 12:57 PM on November 21, 2012


WTF? How is that even possible? Is D-III basketball a bizarro world where you can change on the fly?

I'm thinking D-III dribbling and passing skills + up tempo offence + pressure defence = lots of turnovers on both sides. Therefore lots of stoppages where a substitution can happen.
posted by thecjm at 1:13 PM on November 21, 2012


Grinnell is an interesting place. It is an island of leftist politics in conservative rural Iowa.

Continuing the how rich/interesting is Grinnell derail, its president, Raynard Kington, is one of the most impressive men I have ever had the privilege of meeting. I ran into him, his partner, and one of his sons at a picnic in Takoma Park, Md., where he lived before he took the presidency. He was, at the time, deputy director of the National Institutes of Health. He began a joint BA/MD program at 16, got his BA in 3 years, and his MD when he was 21. He picked up an MBA and PhD from Wharton after that. He is also black and gay.
posted by hhc5 at 1:36 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


And further Grinnell derail:

In 1969 or 1970, shortly after my mother graduated from Grinnell, students there held a protest because the football team won two games in a row (actually the last game of one season and the first game of the next), and they felt this represented an "overemphasis on athletics."

hhc5: I have not met Raynard Kington, but I can vouch for the awesomeness of his partner and their sons.
posted by newrambler at 1:56 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what people are complaining about at all (cf the Deadspin piece).

Are they breaking any rules? If so, the refs should be penalizing them.

As far as I can tell it's an unorthodox strategy that may or may not be intended simply to inflate certain players' numbers. But it's also NOT been an unmitigated disaster for their record. They appear to be reasonably competitive in their division regularly. I'd be very curious to see a Division I school try it out for a few games in the preseason. It's an interesting strategy, but with good opposition (quick identification of the "scorer" and double teaming him on defense) I can imagine it backfiring badly.
posted by chimaera at 2:21 PM on November 21, 2012


Overheard in Grinnell locker room: "Hey Taylor, man, I'm wide open out there! How about passin' it once in a while?"

Overheard in Faith Baptist locker room: "OK, who the hell's guarding Taylor?"
posted by ShutterBun at 2:25 PM on November 21, 2012


Purists complain because it goes against the spirit and beauty of the game.

I think the strategy is perfectly valid, and clever. Also, you still have to sink all those shots.

I also think that this sort of win-at-whatever-cost-mentality, showboat-records-for-marketing, pound-on-the-weak-team, borderline-gamesmanship thing is a disgrace, and a good part of everything that's wrong with the world. But i stopped watching basketball a long time ago, so whatever.
posted by palbo at 2:34 PM on November 21, 2012


It reminds me of unlocking an achievement on an XBOX game, and has all the relevance to the wider world.
posted by lrobertjones at 3:16 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is both hilarious and awesome, and people clutching pearls and making their grumpy pronouncements can suck it.
posted by fleacircus at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2012


Every so often someone makes a comment in a thread that changes the nature of the conversation, but quickly gets overshadowed by other comments. In this thread, that comment was made by davidjmcgee.

They weren't playing to win, they were showboating against what was almost certainly a substandard team not even in the same conference, taking every opportunity to hand one player the ball so he could make shots, even if it meant passing the ball away from the net back to him hanging back at the 3-point line. That substandard opposing team scored a lot of points only because Grinnell wes purposely abandoning defense to do this. It's a scheme specifically to get a player in the record books. If that team were worth its salt they'd have gotten their heads handed to them.

Further, it counted as an exhibition to the team for purposes of their standings, but a full game in terms of playing for records. The Deadspin article is very insightful and, IMO, required reading here.
posted by JHarris at 3:21 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is both hilarious and awesome, and people clutching pearls and making their grumpy pronouncements can suck it.

It might be pearl clutching to complain about new offensive systems. It's not pearl clutching to say that fucking around with an opponent that's way below your level so that you can see your name in the paper is a dick move.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:29 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not just get your name in the paper, but also so coach can sell his "The System."
posted by JHarris at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2012


Conference nothing, they were literally not in Grinnell's league. Would we be praising an NFL team for scoring twelve touchdowns in a game if they did it against an NCAA defense?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:45 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Ah, the fact is, I don't follow basketball generally. The organization of the sport is kind of fuzzy to me. Which one is the American League again, and how many home runs has he hit?)
posted by JHarris at 4:15 PM on November 21, 2012


So how'd he do it?

Clearly he'd been drinking some Wells' New Accelerator potion, that allows one to slow down the passage of time. Time-shrinkatives: the new no-no sports quaff.
posted by Twang at 6:23 PM on November 21, 2012


I do have an issue with the NCAA allowing records to be set (and go in the books) against non-NCAA competition.
posted by spock at 6:27 PM on November 21, 2012


Reporter: Hey Antoine, why do you shoot so many threes?

Antoine Walker: Because there are no fours.


Actually, a four-point play is possible. You have to get fouled while sinking a three-point shot, so it doesn't happen very often. The first time was in 1979, and it's happened 12 times altogether in the history of the NBA.

I'd like to see it happen more often, and I think it will, because I believe we're going to see a generation of players that can hit 3-pointers with high percentages.

It's the video games they play as children, you know...
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:10 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


You sum the entire article up in your first sentence. "Yes, he only shot 48% from the floor"
If you take enough shots, in this guy's case something approaching triple digits, you're gonna land some serious points.

AnecdoteFilter incoming!!

On a day where the barometric pressure is lower than normal and I've had my back cracked, I can get close to six feet tall.

I never played high school basketball. Shit, I never played junior high basketball.

However, one day trying to get some fitness, I played some pickup with a couple of friends of mine grouped with some local guys from across the apartment complex I lived near, and I was on fucking fire. One of the local complex guys had his Athletes in America jersey on. The guy defending me was a 6'4" Russian immigrant who would throw elbows at the drop of a hat. Low elbows.

As an overweight guy reluctantly playing skins, I dropped thirteen or fourteen threes in this guys face and as he got angrier and angrier, I asked the AiA guy if I was hogging the ball, and he said something that still stays with me two decades later.

"You're only a ball hog if you miss."
posted by Sphinx at 10:56 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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