Part admiration for the Grinnell College sophomore’s audacity, part curiosity over the system that enabled his feat, part skepticism about the engagement of rival Faith Baptist.
“I feel like that’s impossible,” Greg Monroe said after the Pistons’ Wednesday morning shootaround for tonight’s game with Orlando. “He played 35 minutes. How many shots per minute are you getting up? (The answer: three) That’s crazy.”
“I never thought we’d see a game where somebody would take (108) field goals,” Will Bynum said. “That’s crazy. Seventy-one 3-pointers? I want to see the video of that game.”
Taylor shot 52 of 108 from the field, including making 27 of 71 3-point shots. He recorded zero assists. The rest of the Grinnell starting five combined to take just nine shots.
“They have to love him,” Bynum said of Taylor’s teammates. “They can’t like him – they have to love him if he got (108) field goals in a 40-minute game. C’mon, they must love him. That’s unreal. I can’t believe I lived to see something like that.”
“You’re shooting 108 shots,” Monroe said. “If he’s shooting 108 shots, of course he’s not passing it. I’m not surprised by that at all. The guy on the other team had 70 on 34 of 44 shooting, two free throws and no threes. Now, that’s impressive.”
“Yeah, sheesh – (108) shots,” said Lawrence Frank, whose defense-first sensibilities were no doubt abused by the 179-104 final score. “Well, hey, you do what you do – player’s creed. Grinnell, they play such a unique way. They have line shifts like every five seconds or whatever.”
Monroe’s thinking man’s nature led him to wonder what the other team’s strategy could have possibly been.
“I just feel like, did the other team try to win the game?” he asked. “At some point, you’ve just got to slow the ball down, use 35 seconds, something. Take him out or something. I just feel like they let him do it. When someone scores 30, you say, ‘OK, let’s stop this.’ What do you do when he’s at 75 and then he’s at 100? How, at some point, do you not say, ‘enough.’ I don’t get it. I really want to see that game. I think they should put that game on TV.”
Bynum was a schoolboy legend at Chicago’s Crane Tech, routinely putting up big scoring numbers, and also in the summer Chicago Pro-Am league where even returning NBA players will participate with college players and the best of Chicago’s streets. But he couldn’t imagine scoring 138 points.
“In the Summer League I probably scored like 74 or 75,” he said. “But I had high-assist games, too, and it was 12-minute quarters. The rest of the starters took nine shots? They gotta love him. Wasn’t no fights or nothing broke out? They have to love him. Hands down. He’s got to be like the coach’s son.”