Does the name Jack Taylor sound familiar?
He made national headlines last year by scoring 138 points in a game while playing for Division III Grinnell. He even followed it with 71-point and 109-point games last season.
The 5-foot-10 Taylor lacks NBA potential, but one of his coaches is capitalizing.
The Sacramento Kings have hired an NCAA Division III assistant coach to become head coach of their NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Kings have reached agreement with Grinnell (Iowa) College assistant David Arseneault Jr., presumably to try and incorporate the Division III program’s well-chronicled high-scoring offensive system into the Bighorns.
Arseneault Jr. has been an assistant coach and point guard under his father, David Sr.
Color me unimpressed.
Grinnell runs a gimmick offense designed to set individual records at the expense of sound play. Tyler Burns reviewed Taylor’s 138-point game against Faith Baptist:
The announcer actually said that Grinnell will look on their schedule for their weaker opponents and do everything they can to run up the score and break records. This is all within the game plan. One tactic the announcer mentioned was called “The Bomb Squad”. If Grinnell’s opponent gets into the double bonus, Grinnell will sub in five freshmen players, foul their opponent immediately once the ball is in play, send them to the line, then sub the freshmen players out to put their scorers back in on offense. This takes almost no time off the clock, giving their starters as many offensive possessions as possible. To win the game? No, not necessarily. To break records.
For reasons unknown to me, this game counted as a regular season game for Grinnell, but as an exhibition game for Faith Baptist. The announcer actually mentioned this during the game. Hardly a competitive game even from the start.
There were a LOT of possessions where Taylor would chuck up a shot, miss, and his teammate would get the rebound wide open under the basket. Instead of putting it back up, he would look for Taylor again and pass it out so he could chuck another three. There were many possessions where this happened three times each. Six three-point attempts in two trips down the court.
The game got more and more embarrassing in the later stages. Taylor’s teammates would literally do everything they could do get him the ball every single time. It didn’t matter how wide open of a look they had.
Why go to all that trouble?
Since becoming Grinnell coach in 1989, Arseneault has focused less on putting together a successful team and more on getting his players’ names in the record books. And, not incidentally, selling books and videos touting his innovative “system.”
Consider this the ultimate sell. Grinnell Sr. got his son promoted into a nice new job.
Maybe Arseneault Jr. is up to the task, but the reasons he has gained publicity have nothing to do with it. Grinnell’s gimmicks won’t work at higher levels, including the D-League.
Unless all Sacramento wants is a gimmick.
The D-League is not a profit center. Perhaps, fans will show up for wild, high-scoring games.
The Kings don’t own the Bighorns, so there are limits to their financial gains here. But maybe this move was made in accordance with Reno’s local ownership.
Or maybe the Kings made a questionable, at best, hire.