NBA stars and Williams College coach in awe of Jack Taylor's 138-point performance at Division III Grinnell
Jack Taylor's performance left even Kobe Bryant impressed.
The Division III guard shattered the NCAA scoring record with 138 points, hoisting a mind-boggling 108 attempts -- or one shot every 20 seconds -- in eclipsing the previous record by 25 points.
Taylor made 27 of 71 3-point attempts, was 52 of 108 overall from the field and added seven free throws on 10 attempts while playing 36 minutes in Grinnell's 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible on Tuesday night in Grinnell, Iowa.
"That's crazy, man. I don't care what level you're at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane," the Lakers' superstar said after Los Angeles' victory over the Nets.
It caught attention both nationally and locally.
"The young man got more points in one game than I got in my career," said Williams College basketball coach Mike Maker, who graduated from NAIA California Baptist in 1988.
Even Taylor was having a hard time processing his feat.
"I don't think reality has set in yet," said the 5-foot-10, 170-pound sophomore from Black River Falls, Wis.
That's partly because Taylor was coming off a poor shooting weekend and started Tuesday's night game off slow -- at least according to his standards. His coaches figured the best way to get him on track was for him to keep chucking, so that's what Taylor did.
"Maybe my cold shooting from the weekend was affecting me," Taylor said. "But then they started to drop."
Taylor had 58 points at halftime.
Then he got hot.
Taylor was 32 of 58 from the field -- including 18 3s -- in the final 20 minutes and averaged an astonishing four points a minute in the second half.
"It felt like anything I tossed up was going in," Taylor said.
"I remember when Michael Jordan got 83 against the Celtics and I said ‘How did he do that?' " said Maker. "[Getting] 80 in the second half, that's hard to fathom. We had a hard time breaking 50 as a team [Tuesday] night."
Garcia Major holds the Williams record with 47 points against North Adams State on Dec. 9, 1987.
"Grinnell has made a big splash on the national scene for playing a unique style. It's difficult to prepare for," said Maker. "I don't know if it's good or bad for college basketball. It's unique."
The NBA champion Miami Heat took plenty of notice of Taylor in their shootaround practice Wednesday morning.
The Heat called their intern -- the day's designated shooter during a defensive drill for the team -- "Taylor" all morning during practice, and after the session, James was among those weighing in on the significance of the feat.
"It's unbelievable, honestly," James said. "I would like to see the game."
Hard to believe, but after one record shooting night, a three-time NBA MVP like James was putting Taylor in the same breath as all-time superstars like Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain.
"I watched Kobe's game when he had 81," James said. "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, when he had 100, and this kid, I want to see him too. Sir Jack."
Bryant, who has a shoe that bears his Black Mamba nickname, has a theory.
"He must have been wearing the Mambas, man. Only Mambas have no conscience to shoot the ball that much," said Bryant, who has an 81-point game, second-best in NBA history, on his resume.
Rio Grande's Bevo Francis held the NCAA scoring record with 113 points against Hillsdale in 1954. In 1953, Francis had 116 against Ashland Junior College. Frank Selvy is the only other player to reach triple figures, scoring 100 points for Division I Furman against Newberry in 1954. The previous Grinnell record was 89 by Griffin Lentsch last Nov. 19 against Principia.
Taylor recently transferred to Grinnell, located about 50 miles east of Des Moines, after playing one season for Wisconsin-La Crosse. Under coach David Arseneault, the Pioneers press and shoot 3s like nobody else in the country at any level. They've led the nation in scoring for 17 of the past 19 seasons while ranking first nationally in 3-point shooting for the 15 of those past 19 years.
Taylor's game was so astounding it overshadowed the 70 points Faith Baptist's David Larson had on 34-of-44 shooting.
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks were amazed by Taylor's accomplishment when they heard about it after their victory in New Orleans.
"I never heard of nothing like that. That's like a video game," Anthony said, an incredulous look on his face. "How can you shoot 100 times, though?"
He joked that from now on when someone asks if he's taking too many shots, he'll mention "that someone shot it 108 times."
Raymond Felton also was astounded by the 108 shots.
"His elbow has got to be sore," Felton said.
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