ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
College basketball now and our version of instant replay. Well, not so instant. It was last year when we spoke with Jack Taylor, the five foot, ten inch guard for Grinnell College in Iowa after he scored a record 138 points against Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. Well, yesterday, it was Grinnell against Crossroads College and to give it Jack, offense was on display once again. Taylor shot 50 percent from the floor, taking 70 shots, including 48 three-point shots.
Final score, Grinnell 173, Crossroads 123 and Jack Taylor 109. Jack Taylor, you have now had the highest scoring and the third highest scoring game in college basketball history. Congratulations.
JACK TAYLOR: Yeah, thanks. I appreciate it.
SIEGEL: When we talked last year after your record-setting score, you said that you were going to be a marked man. How did that turn out?
TAYLOR: Yeah, I think after I got hot a little bit in the second half, you know, they were playing a triangle and two on me with two guys on me, but by then, I was approaching 100. I had the hot hand and so I think it was a little too late.
SIEGEL: Mm-hmm. Well, what did you end up averaging last season per game?
TAYLOR: Last season, I ended up averaging 36.
SIEGEL: Tell me what a Grinnell game is like. This is such a run and gun basketball. I did some arithmetic. The two teams yesterday combined for 205 shots from the floor. By my arithmetic, that's one shot every 12 seconds. Are there any set plays at all in a Grinnell game?
TAYLOR: No, not really. We press the entire game on defense, trying to force turnovers and get quick steals and usually, you know, we're gambling so much and we're so frantic that the other team will either get a quick turnover or a quick shot and on the offensive end, we just try to shoot the quickest shot we can. You know, in the first couple minutes of the game, you know, it's tough to get open looks, but after a couple minutes of just wearing the other team down, you know, it just gets so tiring that easy shots start to come up on the fast break where, you know, their legs aren't there and they're not able to close out as hard as they used to at the beginning of the game.
And so that's when I can kind of take advantage of my shooting ability.
SIEGEL: Your defense is a constant full court press. After every basket, you're trying to block the inbounds pass at that point, or intercept it. You know, some people criticize your coach for having a strategy that is, you know, to get attention for somebody scoring a tremendous number of points. Is this, you know, basketball or a little bit of showbiz taking place at Grinnell?
TAYLOR: Yeah, I think it's a little bit of both. We have so much fun playing in the system. At the same time, our ultimate goal is to win the game and, you know, we're trying to win a conference championship this year. We've proven that this system can win games and can win conference championships so I think there's a little bit of fun involved as well.
SIEGEL: Yeah. What are your hopes for this season?
TAYLOR: My hopes are to just try to win a conference championship and to have a little fun along the way.
SIEGEL: At 5'10", I would imagine you're not looking forward to a career in the pros?
TAYLOR: No. I'm hoping to get an opportunity to play professionally overseas after I'm done playing here at Grinnell.
SIEGEL: Where might you play? What country are you thinking about?
TAYLOR: I'm not sure. I think Italy would be a nice place to play.
SIEGEL: To play in Italy, yeah.
SIEGEL: But longer range than that, what are you studying and hope to do with your degree?
TAYLOR: Yeah, I'm studying biochemistry, kind of a premed major here at Grinnell and I'm hoping to get in the medical field, either pursue pharmacy school or medical school.
SIEGEL: You're a junior?
SIEGEL: This means next season, you know, if you break 109, we can talk again.
TAYLOR: Yeah. That'd be awesome.
SIEGEL: That's Jack Taylor, junior shooting guard, I think we can say, for Grinnell College of Iowa.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.