Everyone on the worldwide interweb has heard the story by now. Grinnell College has a sophomore guard who scored 138 points against something called Faith Baptist Bible yesterday. Starting last night until early this morning the general reaction was of shock and praise. Folks across the country were astounded by Jack Taylor’s accomplishment. Then, slowly, early afternoon today the tides started to turn and people started calling this feat a sham.
Earlier my colleague Jared Mintz (not as good looking a colleague but a more talented one, maybe) stood up for all things Grinnell. I won’t regurgitate everything he said in his article(you can just read that bad boy HERE) but he made an effort to state that’s how Grinnell has played basketball for years and more importantly they win. Winning being the key focal point of his argument.
He’s not wrong that Grinnell(a Divison III program) beat Faith Baptist Bible by 75 points. However he did fail to mention that Baptist Bible is not a part of the NCAA or even the NAIA but rather the National Christian College Athletic Association, Division II of that powerhouse association nonetheless. The school itself only has 330 kids enrolled in the dynasty hoops program. There is high schools around the country that has more talent and a bigger athlete pool to pick from.
Keep all of that in mind as you continue on our journey…
Also mentioned was that Grinnell’s coach uses this run and gun philosophy on the regular. Once again, my esteemed colleague is correct. Head coach David Arseneault has been running his quirky system since 1989, leading the league(whatever that means) in scoring most of the years under his reign. Not mentioned was that Arseneault has an agenda of selling books and videos touting his basketball strategy. I’m usually okay with an agenda if it doesn’t come at the price of credibility to the game of basketball.
Apparently Arseneault looks at his schedule, hand picks horrible teams(keeping Faith Baptist in mind from earlier I hope), and decides that’s when he will manipulate the system to get national attention. Fine, he saw an opportunity to take advantage of (barely) a basketball team so he can enhance his national perception.
What’s left out of “Praise Taylor” articles is that he never crossed half court to play defense… THE ENTIRE GAME. Giving away open lay-ups to their opponents so they can get the ball back to Taylor quickly. When a Grinnell player grabbed an offensive rebound, no matter how open they were, they threw it back out so Taylor can take one of his 71 three point attempts. Finally, Arseneault has a system where he sends in a group of players to foul the opposing team so time won’t tick off the clock, giving Grinnell and Taylor more chances to score.
At the end of Mintz’s article he said, “What’s the big deal? Besides a player scoring 138 points….I’ll wait.”
The big deal is the mockery of the game. Points coming not in the flow of the game but rather in detriment to it. An agenda filled coach, an innocent student-athlete who now has to feel the backlash, and me having to waste my time on a “beef-article”.
Joe covers the Big East for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone