Pros, collegiate athletes and basketball fans are all marveling at Tuesday night's shooting performance by Grinnell College's Jack Taylor. He scored 138 points against Faith Baptist Bible, torching the previous record. He spoke with Robert Siegel.
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Last night, in a Division Three college basketball game, Grinnell College beat Faith Baptist 179 to 104. That is a piece of sports news we would not spend a second on, but for the individual performance of Grinnell's Jack Taylor. The 5-foot-10 inch guard scored 138 points. It's a new collegiate record and, for all we know, a new planetary record. Among the 108 shots he attempted, Taylor took 71 three-point shots and made 27 of them. And he joins us now.
Congratulations on setting this new record.
JACK TAYLOR: Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: You took 108 shots. The entire Grinnell team attempted 136 shots. Is this called the give-it-to-Jack-and-let-him-shoot offense?
TAYLOR: Yeah, we had played in a tournament to open up the season and I shot pretty poorly, especially from three-point range. And coming into this game, my teammates wanted to get me going offensively, get my confidence up before we go into conference play. And things started going in and it started to become a special night and they kept feeding me the ball.
SIEGEL: So how's your confidence today, in that case?
TAYLOR: I think the game plan worked. I think...
TAYLOR: ...have some confidence, offensively.
SIEGEL: It sounds like the old run and gun style of play that Loyola Marymount of Los Angeles used to play, under the coach Paul Westhead. Is that the idea usually?
TAYLOR: Yeah, it's actually a very similar offense where the pace of play is very fast, very up-tempo.
SIEGEL: Has anyone mentioned the word defense recently at Grinnell?
TAYLOR: We press the entire game. Last night, we were able to force 49 turnovers, and which gave me more opportunities to have extra possessions to shoot the ball.
SIEGEL: How deep was it into the game when you realized, holy cow, I could be scoring more points than anybody ever scored?
TAYLOR: I knew I was having a good night by halftime. I thought I had around 30 points and coach came in the locker room and said I had 58.
SIEGEL: At halftime.
TAYLOR: Yeah. And that kind of surprised me and I started to realize that it might be a special night.
SIEGEL: Now, according to Wikipedia - I looked it up - the school you were playing against, Faith Bible College and Theological Seminary, has a student body of 330 and it's a coed school. Not a powerhouse, huh?
TAYLOR: No. No.
SIEGEL: On the other hand, they had player out there, David Larson, who, according to the box score, he scored 70 points. He shot 34 of 44 from the floor last night.
TAYLOR: Yeah. Yeah, he was able to be on the backside of our press and got a lot of good looks.
SIEGEL: Do you expect...
SIEGEL: ...to be double teamed a lot in the coming games this season?
TAYLOR: Yeah, I think I'm going to be a marked man from here on out. I think I'm going to see some double teams. And I think scoring the basketball might be a little more difficult.
SIEGEL: You're not going to try to break the record of 138 points, any time...
TAYLOR: No, I don't think I can.
SIEGEL: Tell me about playing for Grinnell. I gather you transferred from University of Wisconsin Lacrosse.
TAYLOR: Yep. Yeah, one of my friends played basketball for Grinnell in this system and told me about it. And I think my game fit in with the system very well with the up-tempo offense and my shooting ability. And I think it's safe to say I made the right decision.
SIEGEL: Well, you certainly made it into the record books. Jack Taylor, congratulations once again and thanks so much for talking with us.
TAYLOR: Yeah, thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: That's guard Jack Taylor of Grinnell College, who set a new collegiate for scoring last night. He scored 138 points against Faith Baptist. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.