A senior urges: Let’s keep college basketball a team sport
Every athlete, no matter what level of play, wants to have a game worthy of being put up on the highlight reel.
Jack Taylor of Grinnell College in Iowa put up 138 points in one game last week, which gathered attention from many major news outlets, ESPN and even some of basketball biggest names.
At first glance, that point total definitely looks impressive; having shattered previous Grinnell and NCAA records, but does Taylor really deserve all the praise?
When you take a further look into the statistics, a total of 108 shots by Taylor should jump out.
Yes, you read that correctly, 108 shots were taken by one human being in only 36 minutes of basketball.
I’m pretty sure the only way I could take 108 shots without passing out in 36 minutes would be if I stood at the block and continuously took layups, never mind 3-point shots and defense.
The numbers this college sophomore put up are obviously remarkable, but they may be more harmful to the team than all the attention Taylor is receiving.
Grinnell followed this record breaking performance with a loss to in-state rival William Penn University 131-116 where Taylor, who didn’t start the game, shot a much lower 29 percent from the field. Taylor ended the game with 21 points, but only shot 6-21 from the field.
The Pioneers should not have to depend on an absolutely ridiculous performance to beat opponents; just like generally in college basketball a team should not be dependent on an individual’s gameplay.
Compared to the NBA, college basketball is much more of a team game and that is one of the major reasons why many people love and prefer NCAA play.
Breaking records is definitely something athletes should strive for, but it should never come at the cost of hurting the team and the game.
Taylor may feel pressure to have consistent high scoring games, not necessarily breaking triple digits, but to be a standout player.
But when an athlete does not have the hot hand, they should learn to pass it off.
Teams are going to always have a star player, and Taylor may prove to be that player, however, college basketball is won consistently with a solid team game and mindset.
Grinnell needs to focus more on the team aspects of being successful so maybe they can be known for some championships instead of just one player.
Stephanie Vedral is a senior sports management major from Yonkers, NY. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org