Jack Taylor's night, and how Grinnell breaks scoring records

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

Taking 71 three-pointers in one game? It's all part of "The System".

If you travel in college basketball circles, when you heard that a DIII player set the all-time NCAA scoring record on Tuesday, you didn't need to ask to know which school he played for.

For nearly two decades, Grinnell coach David Arsenault has run his offense like a mad scientist or Mike D'Antoni on steroids, regularly producing final scores in the 150-140 range.

Arsenault alternates players on lines as if he was a hockey coach, substituting five new ones at every dead ball. That allows his teams play a frenetic, helter-skelter style of pressing and trapping with the goal of putting up as many three-point shots in one game as humanly possible.

The offense, which he refers to as "The System," is designed to produce results like Jack Taylor's historic performance on Tuesday night.

This is not a typo. Taylor, a 5'10 sophomore guard, actually put up these statistics: 138 points on 52-of-108 shooting, 27-of-71 from the three-point line.

Grinnell, a private liberal arts college in Iowa, is a DIII school, which means none of its players are on scholarship.

Here's the real question: what would happen if D-I guys played this system? It's hard to imagine players thinking about NBA careers buying into such an unorthodox attack, but there are over 300 schools in Division I. A good number of them are very, very bad at basketball.

To paraphrase RFK, instead of asking why, maybe it's time to start asking, why not?

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