I think the new NCAA single game basketball scoring set this week by by Grinnell’s Jack Taylor is a very cheap mark. Sure, the team is known for its pressing defense and quick shot-taking. In fact, the team has led its NCAA Division (III) in scoring for 17 of the last 19 years. In 15 of those 19 years, Grinnell has led the nation in three point scoring.
But other record scoring nights by other players have been because of outstanding shooting. Not so, with Taylor’s mark. In the first half, he made 20 of his 50 field goal attempts or 40 percent. For the entire game, he made 52 of 108 field goal attempts or 48 percent. However, he only made seven of ten free throws and only 27 of the 71 three point field goals he hoisted up. Making only seventy percent of one’s free throws is only mediocre, at best and making only 38 percent of one’s three point field goals usually means that a player is not the first, or usually even the second, option for long range shooting on his college team.
Because he was on the bench for four minutes, Taylor averaged three field goal attempts for every one of the 36 minutes he was on the court.
It is difficult to find “glory” or even merit in a player taking about three-quarters of his team’s field goal attempts. I would like to know how the Grinnel coach, David Arseneault, sold this strategy to the rest of the team. Although Grinnell won the game, it almost seems like the striving for the victory was secondary to Taylor immediately shooting the ball every time it touched his hands.
The incredible number of attempted field goals will make Taylor’s record almost impossible to approach or beat – unless a player adopts the same strategy and makes a higher percentage of his field goal attempts. In other words, no team-oriented basketball teams need apply.