Uptown? Downtown? That’s Jack Taylor firing away. (Cory Hall / AP)

Jack Taylor was in a groove, a Mariana Trench kind of groove, Tuesday night.

The Grinnell College guard scored an NCAA-record 138 points in a performance that desperately cries out for a smart-alecky descriptor. (He hung a 138 burger on Faith Baptist Bible?) Anyway, Grinnell won, 179-104. Let’s leave it at that.

“I felt pretty confident tonight,” he told ESPN after the Division III game in Grinnell, Iowa. “Most of my shots were off the dribble in isolation from the perimeter and that’s kind of my game, working off the dribble. I felt pretty confident when I got the ball tonight. That’s for sure.”

(Cory Hall / AP)

Playing 36 minutes, Taylor broke the NCAA scoring record by 25 points and made 52 of his 108 attempts, firing off a shot every 20 seconds. (Perhaps he should change his name to Chuck. Chuck Taylor…hmmmm.) Three-pointers? There were a ton of those: he made 27 of 71 attempts. Free throws? He made 7 of 10 attempts. (And, yes, the box score is ridiculously fascinating.)

Overall, he took 79 percent of his team’s shots, which is by design. David Arseneault, the Pioneers’ coach, espouses a bombs-away philosophy and eschews assists. Grinnell has led the nation in scoring for 17 of the past 19 seasons and has ranked first nationally in three-point shooting for the 15 of those years. 

Taylor, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound sophomore from Black River Falls, Wis., was trying to break out of a scoring slump that had bothered him over the weekend, so his coaches told him to lock and load. Admittedly, it took a bit for him to warm up. “Maybe my cold shooting from the weekend was affecting me,” Taylor, who had only 58 points at halftime, said (via the Associated Press), “but then they started to drop.”

You might say that. Over the final 20 minutes, he hit 32 of 58 shots from the field, with 18 three-pointers. “It felt like anything I tossed up was going in,” Taylor said.

By then, everybody — and we do mean everybody — was noticing. “That’s crazy, man,” Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers said (via the AP). “I don’t care what level you’re at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane.”

Bryant thought it might have something to do with Taylor’s shoes because, of course, he sells shoes.

“He must have been wearing the Mambas, man,” theorized Bryant, who once dropped 81 in an NBA game and has a nodding acquaintance with the verb “chuck.” “Only Mambas have no conscience to shoot the ball that much.”

Taylor cruised past the NCAA scoring record set by Rio Grande’s Bevo Francis, who scored 113 points against Hillsdale in 1954. And it ensured that no one was talking about the 70 points that Faith Baptist’s David Larson scored, making 34 of 44 shots. (No one besides Kendall Marshall, that is.)


“I never heard of nothing like that. That’s like a video game,” the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony said. “How can you shoot 100 times, though?” And, should Anthony ever be accused of shooting too frequently, he joked that he’ll just say “someone shot it 108 times.”




Admittedly, this isn’t what James Naismith had in mind when he drew up the game and Taylor’s performance is likely to trigger a debate about whether this is a good thing, but as long as this doesn’t catch on, it’s fun.

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