Division III Jack Taylor’s 138 Point Game Is An Insult To The Game Of Basketball [VIDEO]
A lot has been made about Jack Taylor’s 138 point game for Division III Grinnell College against Faith Baptist Bible last night, in which he attempted 108 shots on his own, including 71 three point tries. Professional players, Division I stars, and the media have gawked about the story with their jaws on the floor, amazed at the achievement.
What they fail to realize, however, is that the game was the biggest sham in basketball history and an insult to the sport.
First of all, the Pioneers’ “system” has been profiled in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine as a complete desecration of the game, in which head coach David Arsenault instructs his guys to apply a five man full court press and concede quick two point baskets in exchange for the opportunity to go down the court and fire up an obscene number of three point shots. Coach Arsenault’s plan coming into every game is to have at least half of his team’s shots be from three point range.
That brings us back to last night’s performance by Jack Taylor who put up a shot at, on average, every 20 seconds for the Pioneers last night. Watch the video of the last few minutes of last night’s game to watch this “system” at work.
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Forget the sportsmanship questions that can be brought up with a team that is up by well over fifty points and ended up winning by seventy shooting three pointers late in the game. Just look at the absolute disregard, and even contempt, for defense by the Grinnell Pioneers at the end of this game. They give the ball to Taylor, let him shoot a three, then let the opponent shoot a layup, even when there were players in the area that could have tried to make a defensive play. It is disgraceful.
Furthermore, listen to the announcers (who sound like the kid who announced the hockey games in D3: The Mighty Ducks, for what it’s worth) in the brief pregame clip of the video talk about records that Grinnell is attempting to break before the game starts, signalling that this “record” was premeditated and in no way an organic accomplishment in a real game of basketball, even naming Taylor specifically. You will notice that the announcers also mention that the team was also trying to break the record for the most points scored in a half of basketball.
And Taylor’s comments after the game were even more nauseating. When asked about the record setting night, he said that he felt as if everything he was throwing up was going in. Unfortunately for Taylor, he ended up only hitting 52 of his 108 shots, which is less than a 50% clip. That comment would seem a lot less scripted and planned ahead of time if he had actually, you know, shot a decent percentage from the field.
Another point that keeps being brought up by those who have had something to say about the game is the “impressive” performance of David Larsen, who shot 34-44 from the field for 70 points of his own. What those people fail to realize is that nearly all of those points came on layups after Grinnell let Faith Baptist Bible throw the ball the length of the court to give up quick twos to secure more possessions to lead to more shots for Taylor. His performance was anything but impressive. In fact, given the level of defense that Grinnell played, it could be argued that his 70 point game was subpar.
Now watch the highlights from the Grinnell Athletics YouTube page, which try to make his “accomplishment” one that was achieved in the normal flow of a basketball game.
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Funny, they seem to have forgot to include all of the great defense Grinnell played or all of the times offensive rebounders for the Pioneers intentionally refused to take open shots under the basket because they were coached to give Taylor the ball at all costs in this particular game as a part of a publicity stunt to get their lowly Division III school onto SportsCenter for a day.
I’m sure Jack Taylor has a great basketball career ahead of him at his local Y, but he and his sham of a basketball team have no place in the public eye. Maybe the next time we see them on television, they will have recruited Jackie Moon to wrestle a bear while trying to drop 139 on another obscure, bottom of the barrel school. But, hey, congratulations.