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DeFranks: The 100-point “player” (Nov. 19)

By Matthew DeFranks | Monday, November 18, 2013

I have never scored 109 points. Actually, I’ve never scored any points.
I never played on a basketball team in grade school, in high school and definitely not in college. So maybe Jack Taylor is a little better at basketball than me.
But can we even call what Taylor plays basketball?
In case you have not heard, Taylor has once again reached the 100-point mark in a game. This time, he dropped 109 points for Division-III Grinnell in a 173-123 victory over Crossroads on Sunday.
Almost exactly a year ago, he poured in an NCAA-record 138 points in a 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible. Taylor also set records for field goals made (52), field goals attempted (108), 3-pointers made (27) and 3-pointers attempted (71) a year ago.
But he also had zero assists, six turnovers and unreachable amounts of selfishness while his teammates attempted just 28 total field goals. That’s right, the rest of his team had one more field goal attempt than Taylor had 3-pointers made.
But on Sunday, it appeared that Taylor learned to share the ball a little more.
In this year’s 100-point performance, Taylor was 35-for-70 from the field, 24-for-48 from behind the arc and 15 of 17 at the free-throw line. To put his Sunday stats in perspective, he had as many attempts as Notre Dame had points on the same day (70).
Wait, you mean he only needed 70 shots to reach triple-digits and not 108 shots to reach triple-digits? That right there is maturity, self-sacrifice and efficiency. He even had two assists and four rebounds. What a well-rounded player that Jack Taylor is.
Except that none of his stats really matter.
Grinnell won Sunday’s game by 50 points against a school whose name sounds like a bad country band. So naturally, the Pioneers took all of their starters out early to show some form of mercy, right? Wrong.
Taylor stayed in the game until there was 5:32 left in the second half and Grinnell up by only 60 points. And, oh yeah, Taylor attempted a 3-pointer three seconds before leaving the game, even with a fairly sizeable lead.
But it’s not Taylor’s fault that coach David Arseneault left him in the game late. But he was part of the squad that gave up 123 points to a team that is 0-9 this season. The Knights came into the game averaging less than 79 points per game but managed to put up 44 more points on a Grinnell team that was just interested in chasing stats.
So can we call what Taylor plays basketball? No.
Basketball has passing and ball movement.
Taylor has 37 career assists, and 20 career rebounds.
Basketball has defense.
What Arseneault and the rest of the Grinnell team are masquerading as basketball, would make James Naismith roll over in his grave and knock the next Taylor shot into the 15th row of the gym.
It would be the first form of defense Taylor has ever encountered – which would be one more than me.
Contact Matthew DeFranks at mdefrank@nd.edu
The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.