Jack Taylor: Sucker or freak?

For some he is the man of the year. For others, the protagonist of one more anecdote in the history of sport. Jack Taylor, point guard from Grinnell College (Iowa), reached 138 points on Tuesday in an NCAA game, a figure that has become the new scoring record in the United States (including the NBA, WNBA, NCAA and ‘high school’).

The best record in the NBA is Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary 100 points in 1962 and in college basketball until now the record was Bevo Francis’ 113 in 1954. In high school Dannye Heater reached 135 in 1960.

No one can deny this 22-year-old baseman from Black River Falls (Wisconsin) a privileged place in the annals of basketball, but there have been those who have questioned the real value of his brand at first glance.

Taylor had to shoot more than a hundred times to reach 138 points. Specifically, 108 for a statistic that collected 25/37 in shots from two, 27/71 in triples and 7/10 in free throws. Obviously, his entire team played for him during the second half after his coach realized that by the break the point guard already had 58 points.

“There was a moment in the second half where I’ve hit seven or eight three-pointers in a row. I felt like anything I shot was going to go in,” Taylor explained at the end, benefiting from Grinell’s special style of play.

For Taylor, only 1.78 and whose best score so far was 48 points with his high school team, it was only the third game with Grinnell, a team famous in the United States for its basketball ‘at full speed’. Coach David Arseneault bets on ‘flash attacks’, full-court pressure and plenty of three-pointers. Consequence: the ‘Pioneers’ have been scoring leaders 17 of the last 19 seasons.

Apart from the high number of shots he needed to sign his feat -one every 20 seconds while Chamberlain needed one every 46 seconds to reach his 100 and Kobe Bryant, one every 73 seconds for his top of 81-, we must take into account Grinnell plays in Division III, the lowest category in the NCAA. As a curiosity, in the same game a rival, David Larson, reached 70 points with much better percentages (34/44).

Taylor’s 138 points are not the world scoring record. There are a couple of great goals in teenage basketball (272 from the Swedish Mats Wermelin and 178 from the Croatian Marin Ferencevic), but the top scorer in senior elite competition is held by the current Besiktas coach, the Turkish Erman Kunter, who passed with his team just a few weeks ago at the Palau. Kunter scored 153 points in 1988 in a match between his team, Fenerbahçe, and Hilalspor.

Taylor’s 138 points were the ‘trending topic’ of the day among NBA players with a twitter account. Here are some:

Kevin Durant: “Jack Taylor, you deserve a Jack Daniels shot after this performance”

DeMarcus Cousins: “I want to know who was defending him”

Kendall Marshall: “138 points, 108 shots, in 35 minutes? I need to see the recording”

Damian Lillard: “That boy scored 138 points? The rival team had to cheer him on”

Channing Frye: “How is it possible on this god planet to have 102 shots in a game?”

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Jack Taylor: Sucker or freak?


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