Player On Sub-Par College Basketball Team Sets Meaningless Scoring Record

Jack Taylor, a player for theNCAA Division III Grinnell College Pioneers Basketball team set an NCAA record last night, but it’s quite honestly less than impressive:

Jack Taylor thought his cold shooting from the weekend was spilling into the week.

Turns out, Taylor was about to heat up.

The Grinnell College sophomore guard scored an NCAA-record 138 points during the Pioneers’ 179-104 win Tuesday night against Faith Baptist Bible College in an Iowa-school Division III matchup.

“I don’t think reality has really set in yet,” Taylor said after the game. “I think it definitely will in the next few days. I can’t really get my mind around it right now.

Taylor, a 5-10, 170-pound guard from Black River Falls, Wisconsin, shot 52-of-108 from the field, 27-of-71 from 3-point range, and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line to finish with the historic, head-shaking line of 138 points.

The 138 points passed Clarence “Bevo” Francis who held both the NCAA and collegiate scoring mark when he dropped 113 points for Rio Grande College of Ohio vs. Hillside in 1954.

“It’s kind of a life-changing moment,” Grinnell coach David Arseneault said.

Impressive? I suppose, but it’s not like they were playing a basketball powerhouse here. Their opponent was the Faith Bible Baptist College Eagles. As far as I can tell, neither of these teams has made it to the NCAA March Madness Tournament, nor have they ever won their respective conference championships. Additionally, based on some of the video I’ve seen of the game it’s rather obvious that Taylor’s teammates were deliberately passing the ball to him and letting him score points that they also could have easily made, clearly an intent to run up his own point total. I’m not saying this isn’t an achievement, but let’s see him do the same thing against a team ranked in the AP Top 25 and then I’ll be impressed.

Update: Deadspin argues that D-III Player’s 138 Point-Game Is A Sham Record And Shouldn’t Be Celebrated By Anyone

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Andy says:

    Well aren’t you a buzzkill.

  2. Trumwill says:

    I don’t usually comment just to say that a post is lame, but this post is lame. Akin to looking at a really impressive high school play and saying “Whatever. He couldn’t do that against the Green Bay Packers.” 138 points is roughly a goal a minute. You may not be impressed, but Kevin Durant is.

  3. Vast Variety says:

    Dude… can’t you just be happy the kid had a great game? While our local coledge team might not be up to the standards of the NBA the Grinnell Pioneers can kick but in their confrence. I’m proud to be a resident of Grinnell, Iowa.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    The holiday season’s not your bag is it?

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    Since he plays for a DIvision III team, he likely won’t face a top 25 Div I team. Nor will he be involved in March Madness, which generally refers to the Div I tournament.

  6. Franklin says:

    His shooting percentages were okay/normal. He just happened to get a lot of shots.

  7. Kenny says:

    Consider his percentages, 27-of-71 is 38 percent. That performance is worthy of exclamation next to all of his college peers, regardless of their conference or division.


    … Granted the defense might be a bit different, and he got the Teen Wolf treatment from his teammates …

  8. Peacewood says:

    Plus, the guy is 5-10. It’s not like he was doing the Wilt thing and getting easy hooks and layups by towering over other guys. He earned his points.

    Color me impressed.

  9. Let's Be Free says:

    Have the common decency to let this guy have his 5 minutes of fame. He doesn’t harbor any illusions about becoming the next Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. He probably won’t even write a blog. Uttering condescending crap against a journeyman (or woman) college athlete (a scholarshipless scholar athlete no less) is mean spirited. And it can get you in big trouble. If you don’t believe that ask Don Imus.

  10. Graham says:

    WTF Doug? “Bah, humbug!”?

    What terrible tragedy has wrenched the joy from your soul?

  11. Dazedandconfused says:

    The guy took 108 shots in 40 minutes. Averaging a shot every 22 seconds with a college shot clock?

    He’s my hero.

  12. Console says:

    Deadspin, still the best sports journalism out there

  13. I don’t think that Div. III teams ever go to the March Madness.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    I can’t wait until Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant start complaining about this..\

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Get a life Doug. One that accomplishes something more than tearing other people down for doing things you never could.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al-Ameda: Actually, Kobe already congratulated him for it in a tweet. something like “I don’t care what level of basketball it was, 138 points is something! Must have been the Mamba’s!”

  17. John H says:

    Come on Doug. I couldn’t sink that percentage if I was alone on the court!

  18. de stijl says:

    Back in 2002 I was living in downtown Mpls but working in West Des Moines for a contract data warehousing job. Hell of of commute – 4 hours south on Sunday afternoon, 4 Hours back on Friday afternoon, rinse & repeat for 13 months, but pretty good money so it was def worth it. To this day I can still name every exit on I35 between Mpls and DM.

    A friend in DM had Drake season tickets and I happened to go to the Drake (Div. 1 – MVC) vs. Grinnell (random Div III Iowa conference) game in 2002. I don’t know if it was the same Grinnell coach as the guy who coached Jack Taylor, but they had a schtick.

    It was insane. They had a hockey on steroids theory of substitution – They had “lines” as in play five guys for two trips up and down the court. Sub in the next five guys for the next two trips up and down.

    They had three “lines” – in for two trips, sit down for four trips, get back in, etc.

    It was insane. Little white guys jacking it from wherever. If they could see the basket and the defender was > 3 feet away, the coaching said to shoot.

    Drake ended up winning 162-110 which was a NCAA record at the time (it may still be for all I know). Grinnell was averaging 140 a game at the time. I hooted and hollered and laughed like a loon for 2 and a half hours – it was freaking awesome.

  19. anjin-san says:

    then I’ll be impressed.

    Really? Tell me, did you ever make a sports team at the college level, much less stand out (or set a record)? It’s actually kind of hard to do.

    You sound like a bitter middle aged guy. And on Thanksgiving, no less. Beyond lame.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    First off, Grinnell is an excellent very highly ranked liberal arts college, and second Grinnell has been well known for playing this kind of basketball for years.

    Remember when Paul Westhead implemented this style at Loyola Marymount in L.A. back in the early 1990s, with Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers? It was damned exciting. I was at the 1990 NCAA western regional game when Loyola ran Michigan off the floor something like 150-115 – incredible.

  21. superdestroyer says:


    What is amazing is the easiest way to beat the Paul Westhead style was to play the most discipline ball game possible. Force Loyola into playing defense, get back on defense, and mess with the ball as it is leaving the basket.

    Grinnel had Taylor stay donw on the offense end the entire game. Faith Bible should have left someone down there to guard him.

  22. al-Ameda says:


    What is amazing is the easiest way to beat the Paul Westhead style was to play the most discipline ball game possible. Force Loyola into playing defense, get back on defense, and mess with the ball as it is leaving the basket.

    You’re right, defense is the antidote there.

    If I was on the Faith Bible team, pride alone would have motivated me to do anything possible to disrupt Grinnell – delay, shadow Taylor, force anyone else to shoot … whatever.

  23. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Wow! Way to go! Doubling down of something that didn’t even matter when you wrote about it the first time. You’re far too sensitive–and cynical about any accomplishment not your own–but that’s ok. We’re indifferent to you, so it doesn’t really matter.

    I just shrug and say, “it’s just Doug being a Doug.”

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Sorry, Doug! On my browser, this showed as a follow up to the original story. You don’t deserve what I just said about in this case. Again, my apologies.

  25. Jeremy says:

    Jeez, Doug, I get what you’re saying, particularly after reading the Deadspin article, but this just come off as mean-spirited. Better to not have brought any attention to this at all.

  26. LCaution says:

    Well I don’t follow sports much, but I did hear about this and my first reaction was to wonder why it was a big deal because it sounded like a simple blowout: a better team against a very weak team. After reading this thread, I still don’t know if it was a big deal or not. 🙂