How Will the Refs Call the Game this Season?

  • With 20/20 hindsight, it is pretty clear that last season’s experiment in increasing scoring and taking some of the muscle out of the game was at least effective (dubiously so IMHO) in delivering more control to the refs over outcomes of games.

    By seasons end it was just plain remarkable how much referees were determining outcomes both in the macros, i.e., which team they favored by calling more total fouls on the opponent, and in the micro, i.e., in terms of which team they gave the game to (or at least tried to) at closing time. I will carry with me always the recollection of the call and the 5 minute tape review that went against UW-Madison, and for Arizona. It is one thing to call an out of bounds on the wrong team at the buzzer, but it is another thing entirely to then give the team that shouldn’t have possession of the ball 5 minutes to rest their legs and draw up a play and a fall back option; that goes into the subterranean Hall of Shame.

    Anyway, does anyone have a feel, or gossip, about how the refs are going to going to call the game?

    Next, does anyone have a feel for what the upper limit is that coaches will go to in playing to get fouled?

    Are we apt to see more pump faking?

    Are we apt to see even more flopping?

    Are we apt to see more, or less action, as a means of drawing fouls? It seems the ideal offense now is going to be a short possession offense designed to create foul-able shot opps. Essentially the game distills to getting fouled as quickly as possible, if the refs call it the same.

    I could also foresee more running on offense, because it speeds another team up and creates lots of fouling opps. And the more you run, the more trips there are and the more trips there the more opps to get fouled their are.

    Wooden’s first two ring teams were very short at all five positions. They emphasized quickness and speed. Quickness and speed at least to be the best tools for drawing fouls.

    On the other hand you don’t want to get fouled without trying a shot, so does this mean a slow game that allows you to get your defender near you for the FGA every shot?

  • @jaybate 1.0 I thought I saw the refs relax a bit after the first few weeks of November and into December. Why? Not so much because coaches and fans whined…but likely (you should remember this, jaybate) because the games were running long, 2.5 hours long, and getting the advertising-already-paid-for timeslots ALL fubar. I bet if the big money complained about the game lengths, refs would swallow whistles (as they used to)? And I say all this, as basically, by the time it got to conference play, I rarely saw games getting called like they were in early November. In early November, I was having doubts if I still liked college basketball, as my guy Billy Self was basically getting his playstyle ‘neutered’ right in front of us. But by 2014, most games and TV-timeslots were indistinguishable from the previous season. Its like they would make a point of 1 obligatory hand-check call, and that would “remind” the players, and then they wouldnt call every single such call.

    And honestly, we did see a return of the ‘charge’ call, as most of us thought that would disappear, as the offense was getting favored.

    Finally, my soapbox Tourrette’s outburst (in general): What in the sam-hell does it matter if the “scoring” is up or not??? Does it matter if a game is in the 90s vs in the 70s??? What does that mean to Div.1 fans? I mean FL got bounced out of the Madness with a gamescore of both teams in the 50s–who the hell cares? And I remember some of Roys teams (with Hinrich) averaged close to 90ppg. Why do the possession clock and the fouling bias need to dicker with the game? Could any of my fellow Hawks please give my your take on this? (sorry for sounding like an old fuddy-duddy, but I’ve really preferred the college game. I’ll watch NBA, but its playstyle is 2nd fiddle to me personally…)

  • @ralster

    I saw a similar, though perhaps less complete back migration over the same period, but it seemed to me that a lot of the change reflected a slight loosening of the leash by the referees coupled with a strong adaptation of methods of defense and offense.

    One anecdotal observation to at least make a tiny beginning in supporting my point. Tarik Black gradually got so he could stay on the floor for a game. Part of it was that the coaches found a technique (holding his hands high while on defense inside) that helped him avoid fouling under the new rules. Part of it was that the refs seemed to ease up a little. But bottom line, Tarik Black was never able to enforce all season long, even with his hands up, the way we hoped for and the way the old foul calling permitted.

    But the single biggest signal that something changed structurally in the foul calling for the entire season was the degree to which teams continued throughout the season to play for the inside three. The most successful teams last season were those with the greatest positive spread in total team fouls. Wisconsin was the poster boy for winning by making few fouls and forcing their opponents into tons of fouls. And Bill Self largely pioneered the end of high pressure defense aimed at wining the disruption statistic. After beating teams the previous seasons by winning the disruption stat, Self essentially abandoned pressure defense in pursuit of holding his total team fouls to a minimum, and going to the offensive end of the floor with the offensive team playing almost exclusively for inside threes.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Great thoughts. Also interesting is that Self still lamented the season-long bad FG% defense, which had been always top5 or top10 ranked for KU Self teams. The other corollary to this is that there were MANY Final4 and Elite8 teams who’s FG% defense was top10 and certainly higher than KU’s. To quote Bill Self: “…we couldnt guard anybody…”. Other teams could still guard, evidently…

    Interestingly, we guarded decent against Stanford, and our turnover count was only 13, while the season turnover avg was also 13-range. We lost to Stanford because we missed too many paint shots. Just like missing all the bunnies vs. UCLA in 07 (Rush and Chalmers, mainly. Maybe Julian as well…). The 08Champs I think averaged 12.7 turnovers/game, but everybody seems to only remember RussRob’s 2+ assist ratio…

  • " How Will the Refs Call the Game this Season? "


    Every time we lose.

  • Seems I real that they “fine tuned” the block/charge call a little more, but I never saw any details.

  • What I don’t get…

    Basketball games lose continuity with all the stoppages by refs going to the monitor.

    Why not hire a couple of guys to do nothing but watch games and look for mistakes? Put a rule on them that they have to be able to make a decision within 30 seconds and then have them be able to send a wireless warning to the floor refs to stop the action when they need to intervene.

    Have them cover all 40 minutes.

    It would put pressure on the floor refs to get it right the first time because their work will be constantly reviewed.

    Figure out a way to handle ties if these guys disagree.

    Our economy could use a few more jobs. Let’s see… 2x how many D1 games in a season?

  • @drgnslayr one word advertising!

  • @drgnslayr

    Interesting idea of monitoring remotely.

    Filled me with related “What if”.

    What if no fouls stopped play? What if instead of shooting FTs, a team was given an automatic 1 or 2 points for being fouled? Depends on the kind of foul.

    I know this would be sacrilege from a historical stand point, like eliminating jump balls, but it might make more continuity and more voluntary avoidance of fouling, if coaches knew the points were automatic.

    It would also end intentional fouling of bad FT shooters. More equality of penalty for breaking the game’s rules, plus more continuity of play.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    Or… just keep the clock moving an add “extra time” at the end of each half! (like soccer)

    Imagine that? End of the game, the clock goes to zero and we are down by 5 because we couldn’t close the gap in time and then they chunk on 5 minutes of extra play!

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