Greeson: Grinnell offense Taylor-made for record 138

Greeson: Grinnell offense Taylor-made for record 138

November 22nd, 2012 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

At tiny Grinnell College, an NCAA Division III school in Iowa, the basketball is about offense.

Forget Norman Dale's four passes before a shot. The Pioneers' up-Up-UP-tempo style has produced the two most recent individual single-game scoring records, including Grinnell's Griffin Lentsch scoring 89 points last year.

Well, 89 was little more than a twinkle in Jack Taylor's eye Tuesday night. Taylor smashed just about every scoring record anywhere with 138 points in Grinnell's 179-104 drubbing of Faith Baptist Bible.

Taylor's exploits even caught the attention of basketball royalty.

"I watched Kobe's game when he had 81," LeBron James told The Associated Press, refering to Kobe Bryant's offensive show in the NBA a few years ago. "I watched some of the greatest games ever played when guys scored big numbers. There's two games that I would love to see: One was Wilt [Chamberlain], when he had 100, and this kid, I want to see him too. Sir Jack."

Here are some of the mind-bending numbers from Tuesday:

• Grinnell's hyper-frenetic style forces mass substitutions; normally no Pioneers player gets more than 20 minutes. In fact, 20 Grinnell players got in Tuesday, but Taylor played 36 minutes -- the same number Lentsch played when setting the record last year. Side note: Lentsch scored seven points Tuesday. Off the bench. So yes, the Division III single-game record holder for scoring doesn't start for Grinnell.

• Grinnell's full-tilt style translates to defense, too. The Pioneers had 63 points off 49 turnovers but allowed FBB to shoot 61 percent (50-of-82).

• No Grinnell player attempted more than six shots other than Taylor, and he averaged six every two minutes he was on the floor. Taylor was 52-of-108 from the floor, 27-of-71 from 3, and 7-of-10 from the foul line. Taylor had as many assists as you did -- ZERO! -- and in 36 minutes averaged almost two 3-point tries per minute. Sweet buckets of IcyHot, that makes your elbow sore even thinking about it.

• Completely lost in the shuffle was an incredible night for FBB's David Larson, who scored 70 points on 34-of-44 shooting. Larson has to be feeling like Ted Williams in 1941, when the former Boston Red Sox star hit .406 but lost the MVP award to Joe DiMaggio and his 56-game hitting streak. Seriously, Larson scored 70 points on 77-percent shooting, for crying out loud.

• Taylor is now averaging a tasty 61.7 points per game for Grinnell (3-0), which means he is averaging less than five points fewer than the entire UTC team.