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So you want to become a better scorer?

Grinnell College's Jack Taylor, who scored 138 points in a game this season, shares a few tips

Jack Taylor, who scored an NCAA-record 138 points in a game earlier this season, says players can improve their scoring mindset. / Photo by Cory Hall via Grinnell College

What does Jack Taylor have in common with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan?

All three have the innate ability to develop short-term memory loss during basketball games.

“That’s big,” Taylor said. “Scorers forget the good and the bad. That’s the biggest key.”

Taylor would know.

Back in November the Grinnell College shooting guard made national headlines when he scored an NCAA-record 138 points in a 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible College. He went 27 of 71 from the 3-point line and 52 of 108 from the field.

“It’s something I’ll obviously never forget,” Taylor said of the record-breaking game. “I just had it going. I just felt like everything was going in. You have to as a scorer. It’s a mentality we have. It’s relentless. It’s definitely something that can be developed.”

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But how?

We had Taylor dish on the keys to developing a scorer’s mindset on the court.

Be confident.

“This may be the most important one. I’ve talked to different college players around the country about confidence since my big game and what I always tell them is that I get my confidence because I’m always prepared. I’m not a good shooter because of perfect mechanics or perfect rotation or any of that; I’m a good shooter from repetition. Repetition gives you confidence.”

Strong work ethic.

“I know a lot of guys are big on getting a high quantity of shots up, but I don’t do that. I try and get quality shots up; shots that I’ll take in a game. I do a lot of shots off the dribble at game speed. I do different things like crossover, step-back shots and things like that. The key is getting quality attempts up. You’re not gonna make them all, but your focus should be the same on all of them. That takes a lot of work both physically and mentally.”

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“Amnesia is great in basketball. You really need to forget about the last play. I’ve definitely shot an air-ball before and when you do that you really need to forget about it or it’ll bother you all game. As a 3-point shooter, realistically, you’re gonna miss more than half of your shots a lot of times. So having the ability to forget about the miss and not let it affect your next attempt is key.”

Have a vivid imagination.

“This is where you mentally prepare, which I think is almost as important as physically preparing. What I do before the game is go back to where I was mentally in the offseason when I was preparing for the season. The gym is 100 degrees, I’m sweating, my arms are tired… I like to go back there because it makes me feel more prepared. A lot of guys also like to envision themselves making the threes in the game they’re about to play. That’s a smart thing to do too.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.



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