Grinnell’s Jack Taylor is the best shooter in the country, apparently


NBCSports.com had a chance to talk with Taylor after his historic 138-point game. Click here to read the interview.

Forget Rotnei Clarke.

Take your Doug McDermott and go home.

Jordy Hulls? What is a Jordy Hulls?

The best shooter in the country is Jack Taylor, a sophomore guard at Grinnell, a D-III school in Iowa. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, because Taylor set an NCAA record on Tuesday night by scoring 138 points.

That’s not a typo.

He really scored 138 points.

You can watch the game. Right here. Taylor was 52-108 from the floor and 27-71 from three as Grinnell beat Faith Baptist Bible, 179-104. Think about that. He took more shots, individually, than you see taken by both teams combined in a lot of games. He took more threes, individually, than total shots most teams take in games.

I hope he iced down that wrist after the game.

To be fair, Taylor plays for Grinnell, which runs a variant of the offense that Paul Westhead ran at LMU in the early 90’s, except it’s faster. They want to shoot as quickly as possible, they press full-court the entire game, and they make complete line changes every minute or so. Most importantly, if they’re not shooting a three or a layup, they ain’t shooting it.

It’s a system that produces some crazy box scores. One year and one day ago, a Grinnell player set the D-III record for points at 89.

Regardless of the situation, however, 138 points in a game is just an absurdly high number. That’s more than some good players get in a season.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Leave a comment

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?