Jack Taylor's at it again. The senior guard at D-III Grinnell College scored 109 points yesterday, the third-highest total in NCAA history. The record holder? Taylor, who poured in 138 in a game last year. How does he do it?
Taylor is averaging 90 ppg through the Pioneers' first two games, having attempted 122 shots and 77 three-pointers. It has very little to do with Taylor, and everything to do with Grinnell coach David Arseneault and his "System." The System is designed to inflate a single player's statistics. A two-man full court press, with the chosen player not moving back on defense, gives opponents a 5-on-3 and encourages them to take quick shots. (This results in a lot of wide-open layups. In Taylor's 109 point game, opponent Crossroads kept feeding Andy Carson, who scored 50 points on 25-of-27 from the field.)
Long outlet passes are then sent to the chosen player, who shoots open threes to his heart's content. Teammates are instructed to pass to him even if means turning down open shots of their own. Once opponents are in the double-bonus, Grinnell players foul immediately to get the ball back quickly.
This year and last, the focal point is Taylor. But it can be anyone—Arseneault-coached players have set the D-III scoring record three times. Arseneault has made a cottage industry of the System, with his second book being released this past summer.
But fans and media remain seduced by big numbers. Taylor's games this season have again received national attention, invariably by outlets that don't watch the games and don't worry about how those gaudy numbers are racked up.
Below, our story from last year on Grinnell's System—and why it shouldn't be celebrated.