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Kevin Schnepf, Published November 21 2012

Schnepf: Scoring 138 points in a game takes some serious chucking

Fargo - Jack Taylor is the college kid who shattered the record books Tuesday night, scoring 138 points in one basketball game. I couldn’t help but envision a Seinfeld episode in the locker room of a small college team in Iowa.

Kramer could have been one of Taylor’s disgruntled Grinnell College teammates who never got to shoot.

“I was wide open, wide open underneath. I had three inches on the guy.”

I envisioned the 5-foot-10 Taylor as bald George Costanza, laying the blame on Jerry Seinfeld.

George: “It wasn’t me … all you do is dribble.”

Seinfeld: “I have to dribble. If I give it to you, you just shoot. You’re a chucker.”

George: “Oh, I’m a chucker?”

Seinfeld: “That’s right. Every time you get the ball, you shoot.”

George: “I can’t believe you called me a chucker. No way I’m a chucker. I do not chuck, never chucked, never have chucked, never will chuck. No chuck.”

Seinfeld: “You chuck.”

George: “Kramer, am I a chucker?”

Kramer: “Oh, you’re a chucker.”

George: “All these years I’ve been a chucker and you never told me.”

Seinfeld: “It’s not an easy thing to bring up.”

The art of chucking was certainly easy to talk about after Tuesday night – when Taylor launched 108 shots in Grinnell’s 179-104 victory.

That computes into some serious chucking – like taking a shot every 20 seconds. Taylor, a sophomore from Black River Falls, Wis., made 52 of his 108 chucks, hitting 27 of 71 3-pointers.

To put that in perspective, Taylor’s 108 chucks is twice the number most teams take in one game. No. 1-ranked Indiana averages only 52 chucks per game.

“That’s almost borderline impossible,” said Minnesota State Moorhead head coach Chad Walthall, whose team averages 56 chucks per game. “It’s almost like I’d have to see the tape to believe it.”

“Amazing,” said North Dakota State head coach Saul Phillips, whose team averages 58 chucks per game. “With their system, they will give up layups so they can get back on offense as quickly as possible.”

The system is the brainchild of head coach David Arseneault, who for the last 24 years has instilled a philosophy reminiscent of Bill Murray in the movie Space Jam: “Defense? … Whoaa, I don’t play defense.”

Grinnell, an NCAA Division III school with an enrollment of 1,655 students, has led the entire nation in scoring 17 of the last 19 years. When it averaged 125 points in 2002, it made 20 3-pointers per game.

“He’s a little bit of a mad scientist,” Phillips said of Arseneault. “I know there are basketball purists out there thinking he’s turning the game into something other than basketball. But there aren’t enough innovators in this game, so I applaud him for that.

“But we won’t be trying that anytime soon.”

On a night when Phillips’ NDSU team limited Duquense to 43 points, Grinnell let Faith Baptist College of Ankeny, Iowa, score 104 points. While Taylor got all the ESPN attention for his 138 points, Baptist College sophomore David Larson poured in 70 points.

“I will be willing to bet 50 of those points came on layups,” Phillips said.

“And who did they play?” Walthall asked, referring to a Baptist team whose players would struggle to crack an intramural league lineup.

Walthall is well aware of Grinnell. From 2000 to 2007, he coached at Division III Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa – 115 miles northeast of Grinnell.

“I never got the call to play them and I never made the call,” Walthall said.

Walthall got his fill when his Loras squad played a similar style against Redlands (California). Walthall’s team lost 152-148.

“What do you really get out of a game like that?” Walthall said. “I do know with Grinnell, it’s go time and go time all the time, no matter what the score. I do know if you don’t want to guard and you want to shoot the ball, Grinnell is the place to be.”

A place where George Costanza would be a happy chucker.

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

or kschnepf@forumcomm.com