As we, and everyone else in the world, have reported, Division III team Grinnell College defeated Faith Baptist Bible 179-104, behind a record 138 points by 5’10 guard Jack Taylor, an offensive display that would have left offensive genius and current Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni puzzled.
While ESPN, Twitter, and as I mentioned, everyone else in the world, blew up last night after hearing the news, many sites including Deadspin and Black Sports Online (BSO) are chiming in today that Taylor’s performance was a sham, and it isn’t all that impressive.
I for one, won’t disagree that a single player jacking up 108 shots, 71 of which were three’s, is pretty appalling, but that doesn’t take away that one player outscored an entire team by 34 points. Especially when that other team’s leading scorer dropped 70 of his own.
The performance is also being criticized because Grinnell’s coach, David Arseneault, is known for coming up with game plans focused on one player taking a ton of shots and his team not giving their all on defense so they’d be able to score more points. This could best be evidenced by the fact that just last season, Taylor’s teammate, Griffin Lentsch, scored a Division III record 89 points.
The main criticism is really directed towards Grinnell’s indifference to defense. BSO’s Glenn Erby states: “the mockery of the game come into play, when Grinnell disregards playing any defense, and feels obligated to trade or even give up baskets to the opposing team.”
I’m sorry, but how is it a mockery when the team is 3-0 this season, after going 18-5 last season? Isn’t the object of the sport to win games? Is the Grinnell model the only strategy that ignores the team concept from time-to-time, despite coach Arseneault pretty much subbing with full-line changes like he’s coaching a hockey team? This is strategy people, not mockery.
The other reason I’m upset with the criticism of last night’s events is because nobody cared about what the Grinnell Pioneers were doing until last night’s performance for the ages, but after seeing and being amazed with Taylor’s point total, all of the “experts” felt the need to evaluate how the points were accumulated and analyze what Taylor and his team did wrong. To quote Wayne Campbell “exqueese me?”
I’ll repeat the most important stat I’ve shared in this article, Grinnell College beat their opponent by 75 points last night.
What difference does it matter how many shots they took? Or missed? Or what their leading scorer did to get the one hundred and freaking thirty-eight points that he scored?
As they say on the blacktop, if you don’t like what your opponent is doing, stop them. Faith Baptist Bible couldn’t do that, so they lost, embarrassingly.
Did Arseneault do this for media attention? Probably. Did he achieve what all teams hope to achieve heading into any competition, he sure did.
What’s the big deal? Besides a player scoring 138 points….
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth