Funeral for a Friend (Game of Basketball)

  • We have just seen a glimpse of what is to come. The beautiful game of basketball, which needed just a few tweaks due to excessive contact, has been perverted into a disjointed, ugly game that I can hardly recognize.

    Players being allowed to drive out of control INTO the defense and get a call. Great drives to the rim taken away because someone brushes his shorts. Ugh!

    Six fouls per player next?

    Granted, we played little defense tonight, but basketball will be painful to watch.

    I am so disappointed.

  • Ditto, The refs need to backs off quick or NCAAB will loose a lot of viewership. The broadcasters said AFH was fired up during the 15-5 run, and the free throws let the air out of the building.

  • What a terrific post here. My thoughts exactly. I was driving back from watching the game and thought … what the hell was that? “Painful”, as you said. Hard to watch. No flow. Dominated by the referees’ whistles.

  • I didn’t get to watch all of the game last night since my brother is getting married this weekend, but fortunately I did get to slip out to the bar and catch a few glimpses of the end of the 1st half and start of the 2nd during the rehearsal dinner (plus I had a friend tape it, so I won’t miss out completely). Gotta say, yeah, that was ugly as ugly gets. But take heart. After I got home I decided to check out some of the other games and I saw something I didn’t expect: BASKETBALL.

    Whatever was sent out to the power conference refs about officiating, apparently the WCC didn’t get the memo. BYU vs. Weber St. featured contact. Guys used their hands on D. Yes, if the pushed or stiff armed, they got called, but there were no whistles just for having a hand out and occasionally touching your opponent. Bodies banged too. Guys were allowed to use their hips and torsos to shunt the driver as long as they maintained defensive position.

    From what I witnessed, it doesn’t have to be the way we’ve seen it. You can give the ball handler more freedom without punishing good D. You don’t have to let offensive players play out of control and then reward them with free throws for it. The current implementation of the hand check rule is a real turd, but officials don’t have to call things this tightly. The power is in their hands. It doesn’t matter what they call as long as they call things equally. I hope the Big 12 wakes up to this sooner rather than later. The real test of these new rules, though, is Tuesday. Power match-ups on a neutral court are usually games where whistles are swallowed a bit. Will players be allowed to play or does the free throw parade march on?

  • @konkeyDong Sounds like the games will be impacted by the referees much more than in the past. It will depend on the style and mood of the referees, and sometimes the fouls get called while not other times. I’m a soccer referee. By the soccer laws, the games are called according the spirit of the game. Some fouls are called while others are not based on the referee’s interpretation of advantage to the team. So most of the fouls are ignored and the teams are generally allowed to play with minimal interference from the referee unless someone commits a blatant foul or endangers others.

    Sorry for all the non-basketball related comments, but I saw similarities. And I agree the new changes are not good for basketball.

  • From Bedore’s Basketball Notebook: The combined 58 team fouls were the most in a Jayhawk game since 58 fouls were called in the KU (22) vs. Maryland-Baltimore County (36) game on Nov. 23, 1991.

    That’s 22 years ago.

    Konkey, I hope you’re right and the power conference refs ease up on their interpretation of the changes like other conferences have. Last night was painful indeed. The intent of the changes was to speed up the game and increase scoring, and so far the opposite has happened (at least, fewer field goals and more free throws). Maybe it will get better over time.

  • Good thing Ed Hightower retired, he would seriously injure himself doing his foul calling production while calling so many fouls.

  • The referees are under intense scrutiny by their supervisor. Each conference has a supervisor of referees, whose job is to determine the way games are called, as well as make the assignments. He also disciplines referees on his staff. the whole process has become very competitive. The staff of referees for each conference has gotten smaller, and there are hundreds of officials trying hard each year to earn a position on each staff.

    The point is we will see standardization amongst officials within each conference staff. There is a strong push away from the extreme individuality that used to exist in the past. The conference supervisor breaks down tape from ever game. Officials can lose assignments by straying from the conference guidelines.

    Unfortunately, there are still differences between conferences, based on the supervisor. The power conferences also have this process influenced by money, as you add the need to support a TV audience, and the personalities of multimillion dollar coaches ( yes, CS should have gotten a “T” in the second half of the ULM game).

    So what can we conclude: we will soon see what to expect in the Big12 for the rest of the year. There will be differences between conferences, as there has always been. The way the games are called is less about the individual officials, and more about the conference supervisors (so don’t blame the officials).

  • See this tweet yesterday from Jay Bilas:

    “Michigan State and Louisville had 12 and 14 team fouls, respectively, in their opening wins. All players have to do? Stop fouling.”

    Either Izzo and Pitino are reacting better than Self to the new rules, or their players are quicker learners, or conference supervisors aren’t all on the same page.

    By the way, their opponents had 9 and 22 team fouls and shot 26% and 41%. So total fouls by both teams were on a par with last year, as were the field goal percentages. Maybe we need to trade conference supervisors…

  • Paris - Bilas simply assumes that all of the refs are calling everything the same way. He obviously didn’t see the KU game Friday. Bilas is good guy, but his take there is just plain ignorant. It makes perfect sense that in the early stages implementing the new approach here, that there will be significant differences in degree. And as noted by imajayhawk, conferences will be different, too.

    It is never as easy as “stop fouling” as Bilas said. A foul is not a foul unless the ref blows his whistle (as many officials are very willing to tell you).

  • It’s been a slow death, for the game of college basketball. Even before they told kids they had to spend one year in college before they could go pro, the game was dying. No it wasn’t obvious then, but looking back on it now one can see it.

    Hind sight as they say has 20/20 vision, wish foresight was the same, but it is as blurry as an Iowa st. coaches eyes at a Missouri frat party.

    Now I know some will think this is sac-religious, but Micheal Jordan changed the game for the worse. Remember when teams won games? Jordan ball emphasized clear outs, four guys standing off on one side of the court while he took his man one on one. Sure he could do it, but then every kid thought they could too. Let’s be honest, not many can, especially when team defense steps up. Kids don’t want to pass the ball (only in rare cases) they want to shoot it, even if they have to force a bad shot.

    Why didn’t the Fab5 win a title? They were all very good players. OK sure Chris Weber called a time out he didn’t have, but whose to say he would have made a shot or even the right pass and that guy would have made a shot?? We don’t know. But what I do know is that they got beat by a team, a team that played together better than that Fab5 did.

    My hope for the game is this: I hope the refs are calling all these fouls now, so players get what is going to happen, but once bigger games start happening htey back off some of “touch” fouls that have been called this early. I also hope the get rid of the OAD rule an either don’t have a rule and let a kid role the dice on his chances of making it or go to the college baseball rule and even the college football rule (they are very similar, ask Maurice Clarrett).

    The game has good bones to support it for awhile, but it is the mind that needs to wake up and adjust, not to make the game more like the NBA, but to make it the college game.

    I love this game and I hope and pray that it is still my favorite sports in the years to come and not some shell of what it once was.

  • I was on the road this weekend, and just caught the game on my DVR.

    The Hawks committed 27 fouls against Marilyn Monroe Louisiana. JFK didn’t get that many touches!

    My over/under for KU PFs for the Duke game was 25. Obviously, I’ll have to adjust that number. 30? 40?

    I think my original rant on the rule changes (interpretations) now may get more attention.

    I hope Tyler Self can play on Tuesday… we may need the entire bench!

    What really stinks with all this is the idea that players will adapt and back-off so less fouls will be called. Whoptee-friggin-do! As I said in my original thread, we can start the funeral procession for lock-down defense. Those days are gone!

    So the college game receives more scoring, and muddled victories determined by Bilas’ preppy ball rules… I’ll be flipping the channel over to college volleyball… sometimes there is contact at the net!

    Maybe inner-city kids will start playing baseball instead. (I’m serious)

    College basketball is dead.

    Long live college biscuitball!

  • I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can’t trust em. Jim Valvano

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