Home » Blog » Interesting College Hoops in November?

Interesting College Hoops in November?

Georgetown's game against Indiana was a rare sighting of a high quality early season college basketball.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’d be so kind, please offer a round of applause for the Georgetown and Indiana basketball programs. Thank you. Thank you.

In a day and age when college hoops in November are not only all but irrelevant but more often than not downright ugly, the Hoosiers and Hoyas played a game that would not have been out of place at, dare we say it, the Final Four.

Tuesday night’s final of the Legends Classic – held at the very swish Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. – was a fine example of how good college basketball can be, even in November. It was also a walking, talking advertisement for how much more interesting it is seeing two high quality teams take to the court early in the year.

The No. 1 ranked Hoosiers (5-0) ultimately took the victory, knocking off the Hoyas (3-1) in overtime, with the final score reading 82-72. Bar a free throw littered overtime period, the two sides played impressive and fluid basketball, opening fast before turning the game into a defensive battle.

Ultimately it was free throws that won the game for Indiana, who went to the charity stripe 36 times compared to Georgetown’s 10. Three Hoyas fouled out of the game.

The Hoyas got a big performance – for the second night in a row – from guard Markel Starks, who dropped 20 points on the top team in the country. Expect Starks to have a big year.

The Hoosiers meanwhile were led by a superb performance from guard Jordan Hulls (17 points, 3-6 3-pointers) and a bounce back outing for the much touted Cody Zeller (17 points, eight rebounds, 42 minutes), who had been virtually A.W.O.L. the previous evening.

This early on in the season, the game was a real breath of fresh air. In fact, the same could be said for both semifinal matchups in this tournament. Indiana clawed out a come-from-behind win over Georgia while Georgetown offed UCLA. These were games worth watching, and made mincemeat of those other tournaments taking place at the moment.

It’s too early to say whether Indiana truly deserves the No. 1 tag – not that it matters at this point in the season anyway – but one thing is absolutely for certain following the Classic; there is no way on Earth that there are 25 teams better than Georgetown. Expect the Hoyas to start climbing that AP poll sooner rather than later. Those 50/1 preseason odds don’t look too bad now either.

Now, from the sublime to the ridiculous…

Whilst basketball fans in Brooklyn were treated to some inspiring and competitive ball, something a whole lot more absurd was brewing in Iowa.

As Grinnell College hosted Faith Baptist Bible in Division III, sophomore guard Jack Taylor proceeded to put up 138 points in the game. Yep. 138! The guard took an astounding 108 shots in the game, draining 52 of them (that’s .481, number fans). 71 of those shots were from beyond the arc, with 27 falling (.380).

For most of the game, Taylor’s teammates passed him the ball and he would jack a shot up (good or bad). The team would then employ a full court press to try and retrieve the ball, or worse, allow Faith Baptist Bible to score quickly. Then Taylor would get the ball again and shoot. And so went the vicious circle of Grinnell’s ‘System’.

Put this in perspective, Taylor averaged one shot every 20 seconds! Those 138 points made up 77 percent of Grinnell’s offensive output. The Pioneers ran out 179-104 victors.

Not only did Taylor beat the Division III record for scoring – which stood at 89 and was held by Taylor’s teammate, Griffin Lentsch, who achieved the feat in much the same way as Taylor – he eclipsed the NCAA record of 113 set by Bevo Francis of Rio Grande in 1954.

Now the debate ensues as to the merit of the achievement. Was this a case of an incredible individual performance or was this merely an embarrassment to the sport of basketball?

The answer depends on your personal outlook and nothing else. There is however two things you can take to the bookies. One, Taylor won’t score that many points ever again, even if he plays one-on-one with the hoop. Two, you can bet someone will come to town and make sure he doesn’t get the opportunity to score, and we’re not necessarily talking about lockdown defense here.

Still: 138 points. That’s something.

  • 100%