Friday, December 3, 2010

Bruins coach bemoans game-ending call

Kansas forward Mario Little and the Jayhawks' bench look for a foul after a last-second attempt by Little for a shot against UCLA during the second half, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. A foul was called on UCLA guard Malcolm Lee sending Little to the line in which he hit the game-winning free throw to grab a 77-76 win.

Kansas forward Mario Little and the Jayhawks' bench look for a foul after a last-second attempt by Little for a shot against UCLA during the second half, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. A foul was called on UCLA guard Malcolm Lee sending Little to the line in which he hit the game-winning free throw to grab a 77-76 win.


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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following KU's 77-76 victory over UCLA on Dec. 2, 2010.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

UCLA coach Ben Howland questions last-second call against his team

UCLA coach Ben Howland questions the last-second call against his team following KU's 77-76 victory over UCLA on Dec. 2, 2010.

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Mario Little hit a free throw with 0.7 seconds, giving the Kansas men's basketball team a 77-76 victory over UCLA on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Noticeably upset by the way Thursday’s 77-76 loss to Kansas University ended, UCLA men’s basketball coach Ben Howland stepped to the podium and explained the frantic final seconds for anyone who would listen.

“Sorry it took so long to get here,” Howland told the group of reporters seated in the Allen Fieldhouse media room. “I was watching the replay of the foul at the end of the game. It was really, really a poor way to end a game on a call. Just for anybody who hasn’t seen it, both 23, (KU’s Mario) Little, and (UCLA’s) Malcolm Lee, were putting their hand on the ball at the same time at point-nine seconds. So, normally, you wouldn’t make that kind of call at that point in the game unless it was very obvious.”

Evidently, the call was obvious enough for the refs to blow the whistle, and Little’s free throw with .7 seconds remaining handed the Bruins (3-3) their third straight loss and second to a top-10 opponent.

“Games like this are what players live for,” said UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt, who tied the game with his fifth three-pointer of the night with less than five seconds remaining. “It’s just a tough way for the game to end. It hurts.”

Honeycutt and freshman forward Joshua Smith look nothing alike. But the young duo combined to outwork KU’s dynamic Morris twins to the tune of 50 points and 22 rebounds.

Smith was a load inside for which the Jayhawks had no answer. The 6-foot-10, 305-pound freshman was wide on rebounds and tough around the rim. In addition, he stayed out of foul trouble and full of breath long enough to play a career-high 28 minutes, which led to 17 points and 13 rebounds (eight offensive).

“This was Josh’s first of what I think will be many, many double-doubles in his career,” Howland said.

While the two elite coaches did not agree on the foul call that decided the game — KU coach Bill Self said Little told him he was fouled — they did see eye-to-eye in their evaluation of Honeycutt’s career night.

“Oh, he had a great night,” Self said. “He was by far the best player in the game.”

Added Howland: “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, I think Tyler is going to have a good night. I really liked the way he let the game come to him. He scored 33 points on 15 shots.”

As for Honeycutt, who had visited Allen Fieldhouse once before for an AAU tournament, the 6-8 sophomore forward said there was no magic formula for his memorable night.

“I just got to the gym early and got a lot of extra shots,” he said. “I liked the floor, I liked the rims. I’ve been working on my shot a lot lately, and I was feeling real good and confident.”

Though he was disappointed by the outcome, Howland was gracious enough to tip his cap to the Jayhawks (7-0).

“I don’t know that they have a weakness,” Howland said. “They’re a great team.”

Howland, who led the Bruins to three straight Final Fours from 2006-08, including a trip to the national title game in 2006, continued to gush about the Jayhawks by speaking to the level of consistency with which Self runs things.

“It’s one of the top programs in the country, year-in and year-out,” Howland said. “Bill does a fantastic job reloading. They lost three guys to the NBA off of last year’s team, (and) they’re still a top-five team.”


hathead 11 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know where I can find archived games? Living in the ME and seem to be missing a good year...

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 7 months ago

The NCAA web site has a bunch of games. Don't know if they are exclusively tournament games.

fansincewilt 11 years, 7 months ago

I think ESPN 3 features some of the games. They stream the games. I watched last week's game on the computer since I was in Wyoming. This one will probably be on ESPNU.

Lindsey Buscher 11 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

paducahawk 11 years, 7 months ago

How about the fouls on Markieff that were way less contact than the last foul?

How about the two 4-pt plays?

Does Duke ever have those things happen to them? At home? Ever?

Lindsey Buscher 11 years, 7 months ago

Watch the tape again and watch the play where two of you players fouled Reed, if the refs had got that call right then Reed would have sunk two free throws and given us an insurmountable 78-73 lead, YOU WOULD HAVE LOST THE GAME ANYWAY.

Go home and accept defeat gracefully, you should be pretty used to losing by now after these last couple of years.

jhox 11 years, 7 months ago

It may have been a legitimate foul, but in defense of Howland, it is a call that you don't routinely see made. I was a basketball official at one time, and it is more or less an unwritten rule that you don't whistle a call with a few seconds to go on a marginal foul like that. It is something officials talk about in preparing for the final seconds of a close game like this. That's not to say you wouldn't whistle a hard foul on a shooter in the late seconds, but I don't think I've ever seen (what was essentially) a loose ball foul called like the one last night.

Of course, things have a way of evening out. It sure looked like Reed was bumped out of bounds after catching the in bounds pass when we were up 3, when he threw it away to Honeycutt.

I do think it's tine to start devoting more time to free throw shooting in practice. Last night's free throw performance was horrendous, and nearly cost us the game and the home court winning streak.

smelliott 11 years, 7 months ago

Not only was Reed bumped but there was a moving screen on Honeycutt's game tying 3...the screener was "walking" Morningstar toward the basket away from the shooter. I think there were enough bad calls to go around on both sides. Was it just me or did it feel like the refs had to make a lot of "make-up" calls during the course of the game. I do agree with Howland about the last call...should have let them decide it in OT.

ksyank 11 years, 7 months ago

Obviously you weren't a very good official. Also, would you or coach Howland please explain how it was loose ball when Mario got a shot off?

A foul is a foul is a foul at any point in the game, unless of course you are shoving Tyrel Reed out of bounds or carrying Brady Morningstar away from a shooter.

92Jhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree...if that call had gone the other way, we would all be screaming at the top of our lungs...I've never been an official but as a former coach, I was SHOCKED (and delighted) when I heard that wistle blow and that arm go up...and shocked even more when I saw Mario's free throw drop...I wasn't sure a KU player could make one last night.

Regardless, we won a game that I believe will be a blessing in disguise as the season goes on. We will get better as a result of grinding out this win against a fair PAC 10 team. I'll bet after Coach Self caught his breath and let out a sigh last night, he started to smile a smile that he can't wipe from his face. Lets be honest, the first five games of the year didn't give him much...this will help him get his players attention.

Eric Dawson 11 years, 7 months ago

Just a point of information -- the refs were only checking to see if the foul occurred before time ran out. They can't look to see if a foul occurred, only to check severity (was level of foul routine, intentional, flagrant?) and time when it's called at the end of the period. UCLA was past 10 fouls, so Mario was going to be shooting 2 regardless, the only issue was did the foul occur before the clock ran out.

jhox 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree with both of you. Credit to Mario for hoisting a shot. That may have been what sold the play and got the call. I also agree with the fact that it was not a reversible call based on the TV replay. It could only have been reversed if it occured after time ran out. Fortunately for us, time had not expired when the contact was made.

I do bet the official would swallow that whistle if he had time to think about it and had it to do over. I'm not saying it was an incorrect call, I'm just saying it is a call that you simply don't see made in that situation.

As for the guy who commented that I wasn't a very good official, who really knows. Nobody thinks they do a poor job. I certainly didn't think I did a poor job, and I always graded out well with the supervisor of officials. I do know I wasn't perfect. Anyone who thinks they're perfect, probably isn't a good official. I know I did have games where I thought I did a sub par job. Officiating is no different than playing, some days you feel focused and feel like you did a great job, other days you just don't feel like you were really on top of your game.

That all being said, I can assure you that officials do discuss situations like the one last night, and it is a call that generally will not be made in that situation.

Technically it was the right call, but we were also lucky the call was made, and I'm glad about that. I'm just trying to be objective here. I guarantee you if the call had gone against us, Coach Self would have been up in arms, as would all KU fans. Howland's complaints were not without merit, even if the call was technically correct.

Martini_Boy 11 years, 7 months ago

A foul is a foul. No matter when it occurs.....

kucharlie85 11 years, 7 months ago

Was the call on Malcom Lee or the player behind Little. The player behind Little clearly reached around and restricted his left arm in the shooting motion.

Jack Wilson 11 years, 7 months ago

Come on, guys .. it was a horrible late game call. Take off your crimson and blue colored glasses. I would much rather have gone to overtime and won by 8. The game was horribly refereed throughout; Kieff's 5th foul was a horrendous call. The crew called touch fouls, then let obvious ones go. The late game call just put an exclamation point on poor night of officiating.

And we need to hit our free throws .. if so, it's not a game.

bradh 11 years, 7 months ago

The most unbiased person at the game last night was the announcer from ESPN (Fran). He thought it was a foul, so I don't think you can say we only saw a foul because we're Jayhawk fans. If you want to say it was a ticky-tack call and not normally called in the last minute I'll go along with that. Then again, I thought the two fouls on the 3 pointers were ticky-tack as well.

chalmers2wright 11 years, 7 months ago

And I wouldn't even call Fran unbiased, all he talked about was UCLA and he seemed to think Josh Smith was a saint.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 7 months ago

Fran does a lot of Big XII and KU games and he is definitely not anti-KU. I thought his comments about some of the fouls were right on. If you want someone to gush about KU from tip to finish, listen to the KU broadcast on the radio. The ESPN announcers are supposed to be unbiased. If anything, they typically praise KU much more than their opponents.

Jack Wilson 11 years, 7 months ago

And I'm not so sure Taylor even touched the guy on his .. horrible officiating.

92Jhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't say it was a horrible call because it WAS a foul...but I've watched thousands of games in my life and I've watched hundreds of last second fouls go uncalled, it's just an unwritten rule...I'm still a little shocked that the wistle blew. But I guarantee you that if that call were made for UCLA (just reverse circumstances), we would be reading, "HOW CAN YOU MAKE THAT CALL?"! That call is NOT made 99 times out of a 100...couldn't be happier that when the call was actually made, it was made in our favor!

Now let's get in the gym early and stay late for some free throw practice...are you kidding me? If we make 70% of our shots, we're not even discussing "The Call".

92Jhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree and while I'm not speaking for HighElite, I believe he too agrees with you. The officiating was HORRID, no doubt about it...Reed was fouled, Kieff had more than one phantom call go against him (and several no calls on UCLA bigs, ridiculous!)...and Mario was fouled, for sure. My point is only that the call made with .7 seconds left was one that is almost NEVER made but I'm happy that it was.

(and YES, can we make 7 out of 10 FT's? Please?!)

Martini_Boy 11 years, 7 months ago

I'll give you credit for one thing. If you're going to call that a bad call then you have to look at ALL the bad calls. Just because this bad call (which I don't agree with) was called at the ens of the game means nothing. In a 1 point game OBVIOUSLY every bad call during the game had a bearing on the outcome. So who cares. It is what it is....

voygr1 11 years, 7 months ago

Officiating was just as horrendous as KU's free throw shooting!!! When I see Tom O'Niell is doing our game I shutter. You can review the tape and see bad call after bad call. Markief fouled out and never touched the man. For those that think a last second foul should not be called I ask WHY NOT a foul is a foul period. Refs decide that last second fouls won't be called is wrong...My concern right now is the players playing tight. Once UCLA came back they tightened up. Come on guys relax and play the game if you make a mistake shake it off... This team is special and will only get better once Josh can play so take out Memphis on Tuesday and lets roll through the Big 12!!!

Fruity22 11 years, 7 months ago

Fifth foul on Markieff was an absolute joke. That gave them a free point and fouled out our starting big man. Terrible call, especially at that stage of the game if anybody wants to argue refs should swallow there whistle down the stretch then what was that call. With that said game should have never came down to what it did. Stupid play by Marcus to drive in and get a charging foul with 15-20 seconds on the shot clock. Mario should have took the ball out and ran clock near the end instead of playing volleyball with the backboard. Reed might have been fouled when he was falling out of bounds but he should have called time out. Really did all they could to give that game away down the stretch.

TtownHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Reed wouldn't have been given the timeout. The rule is you can't call a timeout while jumping out of bounds or in Reeds case, not having his feet under him and under control. Now, did he lose his balance or was he pushed out? Well it's obvious he was pushed, but he did the right thing by not trying to call a timeout there.

Fruity22 11 years, 7 months ago

He was leaning/falling out with two feet on the floor. I thank as long as you have two feet on the floor you would get the timeout.

TtownHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

You may be right, but I thought you had to have your body under control. Which in this case he didn't. I could be wrong, that's just how I've heard the rule.

Chris Kurtz 11 years, 7 months ago

Tyrel could of called a timeout. He had his feet in bounds, he wasn't falling out. KU Sports tweeted after the game that Reed said he wasn't fouled, he just made a bad play.

With that said, I would of rather seen him fall out of bounds instead of doing what Misery did the night before against Georgetown and chucking the ball in bounds to UCLA. At least if it goes out of bounds we can set up defense.

Fruity22 11 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to see the replay. I never thought where's the foul watching it everybody else seems to think a foul should have been called though. I think Reed is too classy of a kid to blame officiating for anything, atleast to the media. But Reed, Self and almost everbody posting believe a timeout should have been called and would have been granted.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

There is a fundamental response in a situation like the one Reed found himself in, and it is (at least in my case) ingrained into your head at a young age: when falling out of bounds without a teammate to easily toss it to, you always, ALWAYS chuck the ball toward your own basket. ALWAYS. It is a mistake I see over and over again in both college and the NBA. It is fundamental, and yet no one does it. If you chuck it toward your own basket you, 1) give your team the chance to recover the ball, 2) if you don't recover, give your team the ability to set up your FULL defense (not with one guy in the lap of a cheerleader), and 3) do not give up an easy basket by tossing the ball underneath your opponents hoop.

Again, this is fundamental and should be instinct. I don't understand why I never see it.

Kye Clark 11 years, 7 months ago

It was a horribly officiated game - Tyrel getting pushed out of bounds, Kieff's 5th foul, there was a play I saw TRob standing in the lane waiting to take the charge as a Bruin took the ball all the way from the 3-point line to the hoop and ran over TRob and no call - but as Fran Friscilla said last night: a foul is a foul. I get sick of watching games all year where defenses basically have the right to maul guys because they know more times then not officials swallow their whistles, and that's crap. What if someone had hacked Lee on his 3 point attempt to tie the game? Well last night he probably makes it and gets an "and 1" (ridiculous that happening multiple times last night), but would there be all this debate about "let the players decide the games, not the officials"? Probably not. If a team is granted the right to take a lead or tie the game for 39+ minutes under one set of rules, the same set of rules have to apply for the other team trying to tie the game or re-take the lead in the last minute. Period. I agree that it was an unfortunate way to end the game, but the players decided the game. Unfortunately for UCLA, their player decided to foul.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree that the foul had to be called. One: if it's not ML controls the ball and scores. Two: reed getting mugged not being called was ridiculous so the refs could not swallow their whistles on two late game plays.

Gene Jackson 11 years, 7 months ago

With just a few seconds left in the game and a lead of three points, would it have made sense to foul Honeycutt before he had a chance to shoot the three (but not, of course when he was in the act of shooting)?

Kye Clark 11 years, 7 months ago

Well, typically you only do that when you are almost assured it is the final possession. Not sure what the exact time situation was, but another article says he made it with 5 seconds left. It's close. Say you do foul him, that would put another second or so on the clock (as you no longer have to account for the time of the shot). Then say he makes both, it's a one point game, and with the way KU had shot free throws last night, it's dicey. KU shot 53% from the charity stripe, so after in-bounding and getting fouled you'd have to say that we're looking at making 1 of 2 shots. So now it's a 2 point game with a couple of seconds left and a 3 beats you. Something else to consider is that they probably weren't even thinking that as Honeycutt's shot was off of a steal and not a set play.

REHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

In several decades of watching h.s. and Div. 1 basketball, I have never seen a foul called in the last second of a game. Very fortunate for the Hawks that the same refs who overlooked that out of bounds shove on Reed and the very obvious no whistle on TRob's taking the baseline charge were Johnny on the spot for the last second call. Gotta be a bitter call for Ben Howland who did a masterful job with his younger and less experienced squad. Washington had better bring their best effort to California if they plan to run away with the Pac-10 title. Or hope to catch Honeycut on cold shooting nights. Speaking of masterful coaching, Bill Self applied more than a little of his own magic in working his roster as effectively as possible on a night when freethrows weren't falling and post defense was absent. Spectators got a chance to watch two of America's best coaches go head to head, five against five. Maybe this almost unreal last second win can be attributed singly to The Spirit of The Phog.

REHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

In several decades of watching h.s. and Div. 1 basketball, I have never seen a foul called in the last second of a game. Very fortunate for the Hawks that the same refs who overlooked that out of bounds shove on Reed and the very obvious no whistle on TRob's taking the baseline charge were Johnny on the spot for the last second call. Gotta be a bitter call for Ben Howland who did a masterful job with his younger and less experienced squad. Washington had better bring their best effort to California if they plan to run away with the Pac-10 title. Or hope to catch Honeycut on cold shooting nights. Speaking of masterful coaching, Bill Self applied more than a little of his own magic in working his roster as effectively as possible on a night when freethrows weren't falling and post defense was absent. Spectators got a chance to watch two of America's best coaches go head to head, five against five. Maybe this almost unreal last second win can be attributed singly to The Spirit of The Phog.

FSUJHAWK 11 years, 7 months ago

The game was indeed horribly officiated on both sides of the ball. As a former semi-pro player I can attest that this sort of stuff happens often. Hopefully we don't experience this type of officiating in March/April. Hopefully this is a wake up call for our players. No one is going to give us anything, in fact, everyone will bring that extra passion and effort at us because we are KU and highly rated this year. For now, I'll take this win and thank the fans and the refs.

PS, defensively we really need to clamp down on these types of teams early. Confidence rolls with momentum and this is what we seem to give teams like Arizona and UCLA when we don't smack them around defensively at the start of the game!


klineisanazi 11 years, 7 months ago

If Little was fouled last night, the Sherron was fouled right before "Mario's Miracle". The point isn't whether there was contact. It is that officials almost never would call it in that situation.

Pbbut 11 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone remember if Howland complained when his players mugged aTm in the regionals in 08 and no call was made? Breakaway! Slam! Win! I recall something about a good no call...

nocaljayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

A foul is a foul. Time of game should matter not. And yes, that was a terribly-officiated game by some veterans officials.

jakzhumans 11 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, ordinarily I'd think it was pretty weak sauce by the refs to call a foul under those circumstances. But the no-call on Reed a few seconds earlier was worse. I rewound that and replayed it in slow-mo, and it was a painfully obvious call, complete with the UCLA player extending his arms to shove Reed out of bounds followed by the comical raising of his hands in surrender and looking at the ref, the classic "I know I just fouled that guy but please don't call it because I'm really trying to look innocent" pose. The ref, staring right at the play, made no call, which led directly to the turnover and the game-tying three. So, given that screw job, do I feel badly about KU being on the receiving end of a questionable call at the end of the game? Nope. Not one bit.

2Bnamedlater 11 years, 7 months ago

After watching the replay over and over, I noticed the ref nearest the KU bench didn't raisie his hand for the foul until Little got the shot off. So he waited to see if it was going to be a loose ball no call or a foul restricting a shot attempt to win the game. I'm pretty sure if Mario wasn't tackled he may of hit the shot, I'm mean with a guy wrapped around him knocking him to the ground he still almost made it.

Give the refs a little credit, they went and looked it over to see how much time was left, nope dosent make up for all the bad calls going both ways. But when you don the black and white strpped shirt you can only make 50% of the fans happy when you blow, or don't blow your whistle.

As far as the moving screen on Brady, whcich one? There were two!!!

I did think KU got out hustled last night until the last 4 or 5 minutes. It seemed like UCLA got to every lose ball, got a ton of offensive rebounds as well. KU hustles a little more and makes a respectable percentage in FT's and the call at the end of the game wouldn't have mattered.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

"Friday After What Went Around Came Around and the Refs Finally Said Enough Already, Ben"

Frankly, I enjoy beating UCLA in a way that makes Howland suffer.

UCLA and Afflalo beat us in the NCAA tourney playing hack'n'slap, when Self hadn't yet adopted it. It was a new, illegal defense at the time that the refs swallowed their whistles on. UCLA would never have won that game without the Hack'n'slap. This is just what goes around comes around, Ben. Eat my day old shorts, Ben Whineland.

UCLA played just as poorly down the stretch last night, as KU did. UCLA botched its chances to win with bonehead plays just as much as KU did.

It was an obvious foul on Little, after obvious fouls on Reed and TRob and half a dozen others that the refs gave UCLA breaks on. UCLA was fouling non stop to get back in the game, and nonstop to win the game.

There are more unwritten rules in refereeing than trying not to call fouls at the end that alter outcomes.

There is another one that says you don't let a team exploit the unwritten rule of not calling fouls as tight at the end. You don't let a UCLA butcher an opponent for the last six minutes of the game to get back into contention and then keep fouling to the buzzer in hopes of winning a game against a superior opponent.

Clearly, these refs were sick and tired of Howland ordering his players to foul every where nonstop down the stretch. Referees are human. They feel guilty about swallowing their whistles, even when conventions of the game and network pressure to keep games in their time slots make them tend to swallow. At a certain point down the stretch of a game, when a coach bitches on every call, while telling his players to foul nonstop, a referee, especially a close knit team of referees, will finally decide they are not going to let the lesser team steal the game fouling.

Any board rat that thinks UCLA had a prayer of winning last night's game without nonstop fouling down the stretch needs to retake Hoops 101.

Howland lives by the foul, so he has to expect to die by it, too.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

Howland knows Little was fouled and he knows this time of year almost all referee teams would have called it and collectively supported the call, with or without replay review. He knows this because he ordered his players to amp up the hack'n'slap the last six minutes, at least. The whining he is doing to the media is contrived and aimed entirely at buying his team a break in the next game UCLA plays. You can bet your bottom California state government deficit dollar that when he walks out on the floor the next game there will be some comment about made within earshot of the refs during pre game, where Ben talks about how glad he is to have some good referees, who know how to call a tight game, after that refs back in Kansas homed him out of a game.

What board rats don't seem to grasp is that Howland has made his career out of coaching fouling. He is a bush league coach--albeit one who knows the game well and knows the strategy of the game as well as anyone--who got to the big league with bush league fouling. The guy at Pitt is a carbon copy, except that he adds a lot of XTReme Muscle to the mix that UCLA's university culture and the Pac Ten don't yet permit. UCLA is in a city of street gangs, so the street gang look is permissible. But to really go out and get the bruisers with the San Quentin chic prison bodies, well, that just won't play in Westwood yet. It will soon, because Howland is changing the culture there slowly but surely. He's shoving it down a toilet...incrementally...because he can't win with talent alone. He's just not creative enough and never has been. Like most bush leaguers, Howland has to have an unfair advantage to win.

The refs said, in the only way refs are allowed to say, that is with their whistles at the end of a game, "Enough already, Ben. We're not letting you steal this one."

Most of the time, refs have to swallow their ethics for the network and let guys like Howland get away with murder. But this time, the zebras struck a blow for the game on the floor named for the game's inventor. Bully for the referees. I am very, very proud of what they did for basketball last night. The referees should sleep well. They did their jobs the best they could in a foul fest induced by Mr. Hack'n'slap himself, Ben Howland. Maybe they can't do it every game. Maybe they would lose their jobs, if they did it in a conference game, or in the Madness. But, by god, they did it in a marquis match-up and they did it to one of the most deserving bush league coaches in the profession. They called a real foul at the end the game the way they were supposed to.

Rock Chalk to the referees!

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 7 months ago

I usually think you are right on the money but I disagree with your assessment of Howland. He came inside what is probably the toughest arena with a 3-2 team and almost pulled off the upset. Maybe I haven't seen as many games coached by Howland as you have but I've never seen or heard anyone talk about him making a career from fouling. If anything was bush league last night, it was the inbound play that allowed UCLA to tie the game.

Sam Constance 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm gonna have to back up jaybate here. He's not even close to the first person I've heard talk about Howland's rep as a coach who sees fouling, not as a breaking of the rules (hence the fact that it is accompanied by a penalty), but as yet one more tool in the arsenal for winning games.

He's one of those coaches for whom the 'spirit of the game' is a meaningless idiom, and believes that any method that results in his team having more points after 40 minutes is a sound method.

Jayhawk1075 11 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like Howland is not getting a Christmas card from Jaybate this year!!!

Steve Brown 11 years, 7 months ago

I heard it was PAC 10 refs, could be misinformed.

Chris Kurtz 11 years, 7 months ago

A foul is a foul if there is 5 mintues left or 1 second. You can't say the refs can't let a game end on a call like that. It's not the refs job to ensure there is an exciting finish. If it was a foul it was a foul. It sucks but that's how it goes.

In the last Big 8 championship game KU lost when the game was tied and Vaughn was called on a hand check 90 feet from the basket with a few seconds left. I would like to see the play from the front side, but it looked like he was bumpped and fouled. Maybe even hit on the arms as he tried to shoot.

Refs did a bad job both ways overall though.

bradynsdad 11 years, 7 months ago

By not calling the foul the officials would be sending a message that if there is less than three seconds on the clock do not blow the whistle, even if the defender punches him in the face just let the game end. What goes around comes around, I think this is payback for the loss to ucla four years ago in the tournament when the game was practically on their campus and the officials screwed us.

Sam Constance 11 years, 7 months ago

In my opinion, the Basketball Gods are letting Howland and UCLA off light.

Anyone remember the 2nd round game between UCLA and Texas A&M in the 2008 NCAA tournament? Donald Sloan drove the lane looking to tie in the final seconds and was hit on the arm by not one, but two UCLA defenders and the whistle was swallowed. I suppose it should be no surprise that Howland is wondering why the officials did not similarly swallow their whistles in this game. Football teams like his probably depend more on that type of hands-off officiating than most. (pause it at 0:23)

If I were a coach, I would trade an NCAA tourney win (that allowed my team to get to the Final Four) for an early-season loss in Allen Fieldhouse.

Look, I will agree that it was a questionable call--I've seen countless games where a similar play will be allowed to happen with no ref involvement. But it wasn't so questionable that UCLA can blame the loss on the refs. Certainly not when there were other questionable calls, less than a minute earlier--calls that allowed UCLA to be in a position to tie in the first place.

Interestingly enough, that A&M game is pertinent for another reason. Not only did the ESPN game recap fail to mention any controversial call (a contrast to the fact that ESPN's recap of this game was almost exclusively about the "bad" call), but Turgeon and the Aggies didn't write a thesis analyzing the play in question for the postgame press conference. Perhaps a lesson for Coach Howland in how to deal with a frustrating loss...

Well, I've rambled on enough now--I guess my point is that calls like this happen in sports. Seeing Howland's reaction at the call and his pouting in the press conference, it makes me really happy to have a classy coach like Self.

jlvlawrence 11 years, 7 months ago

i remember that game and that was definitely a foul on Sloan.

Brianna Zaleski 11 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree w/ what you said about his reaction. Throwing a bottled water and dropping f-bombs just made him look like a punk. Probably would have felt bad for him if I hadn't seen how he and Honeycutt reacted. I can cut the kid some slack because he is just a kid, but Howland is the coach at UCLA and these calls are just a part of the game. Doubt you would see John Wooden react how he did. Got to maintain your composure as the leader of your team.

BTW, just watched that Youtube video, all I can say is karma

gchawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Just noticed that you said, "Got to maintain......". If you're going to be so quick to correct me, then use proper grammar. It should read,"Have to maintain.....".

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 7 months ago

Truthfully, I think HCBS would have been just as upset. It was a close call and I agree with it, but that was a lousy way to finish such a competitive game. What bothered me the most was Joshua Smith having his best career game against the Morris brothers and our supposedly deep bench at that position.

gchawk 11 years, 7 months ago

We were at the game last night and I have to say that we were very fortunate to come away with a win. I hate to have officials be such a part of the game, they were extreamly inconsistant, or maybe I should say they were consistent with their inconsistency, but we never could break away from UCLA, so have to give them credit. We had no answer for Smith, aka Kenworth, or Honeycutt, who is either very good or had the game of his life last night. Coach's comments after the game summed it up very accurately when he said: "We only won the game on the scoreboard". I don't know if we're not playing quite as well right now or if our last 2 opponents were that much better in terms of competition, but I do think that there are a couple of areas of our game that have definitely been exposed, rebounding was really off last night.

gchawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Tanks so much for the leson in spiling. "Extremely" and "inconsistent" will from here on be spelled, and used, correctly. Thanks, also for the reference to our Lord and Saviour, didn't realize I merited such high praise.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

"Friday Feeling Like KU Survived Not Playing the Clock the Last Three Minutes Against the Bruins, But Won't Make that Mistake Again"

~Board rats that thinkTyrel and Brady played poorly are waaaaay off base. They both played very well.

~Tyshawn had the best game of his KU career. He inspired me in so many ways. He has turned into the best help defender on the team. It is like he is everywhere on the floor helping his mates and some how guarding his own man exceptionally well also. Self asked a huge amount from Tyshawn and Tyshawn delivered. He made him pick the UCLA PG up 3/4 court down the stretch and ply belly button D on him in half court and play help wing to wing. It was just an inspired, magnificient defensive performance by Tyshawn Taylor.

Tyshawn's only lapse occurred the last three minutes, when he had been on such a roll being the go to guy for a few big, big that he let the game go on fast forward at the very moment he needed to pull up full stop and start playing the clock. He couldn't get control of himself, so he couldn't get control of Marcus and Little and Kieff. If it had not been for Tyrel and Brady, the game would have gotten completely away from Tyshawn at 2 minutes left, but that is what teammates are for and Tyshawn will never make this mistake again. He's now been in the fire and he will remember next time to play the clock with three to go, even when he's on a roll. I am sooooooooooooooo proud of Tyshawn Taylor even with the goof at the end, I cannnot tell my fellow board rats. Tyshawn Taylor has become the man of this team. It really is his and the Twin's team now, maybe even more his, as it should be. I never dreamed he would play the point so well. If Josh Selby comes in and does anything but be the shake and bake two that Tyshawn dishes to, when he thinks its what the team needs, then we will go backwards with Josh's arrival. But I think it is going to be a perfect fit. I think Josh has that go-for-the-kill look that a great 2 guard creator needs. I think Josh Selby is going to put so much pressure on the back side of the floor, when the ball goes first to the small forward, then reverses quickly to Selby, that the Twins are going to be able to start running underneath.

Gary Wirsig 11 years, 7 months ago

Does Tyshawn's play at the point lend new meaning to "point plankin"?

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

~When Selby plays, you put the 3, Brady, or Tyrell on PG Tyshawn's right wing. Tyshawn feeds the 3. The 3 tries to feed the post. If he can't, then he reverses it around to Selby on the opposite wing. Selby puts enormous backside pressure on the defense and either penetrates, or kicks to the top of the key, where the ball is in the 3s hands for the open trey. If Selby can just guard his man and protect, Tyshawn has turned into such an awesome help defender to go along with Brady and Tyrel's help that Selby doesn't have to know how to help. But until Selby does know how to help, there are going to be a lot of minutes where Tyrel and Brady will still be on the floor. Tyshawn, Tyrel, and Brady have turned help defense into as much of an art form as a group, as Chalmers, RR and Rush did with wreak havoc defense. Tyshawn, Tyrel and Brady are turning into an absolutely marvelous defensive threesome.

~Honeycutt dropping 30+ on 15 shots means nothing. He had one of those nights. We see this same kind of performance every so often. People need to get a grip. Williams had a big night. Durant had big nights. TTEch's modestly talented Voskuil had a big game a few years back. Everyone has a big night every so often. So freaking what! Most teams lose to teams when an opponent has one of those freakish big nights, but Self's teams usually win those. Why? Because Self coaches a team defensive concept that can absorb these sorts of performances.

~Self's teams can overcome these hot nights by players for one really big reason: the Distruption Statistic (strips to TOs). Many board rats still do not fully get it. If you out disrupt an opponent for more strips, and make fewer TOs, you get a huge advantage in scoring opportunities. Just look at KU's edge over UCLA.

UCLA 7:19 KU 10:15 Net Advtg. +3:+4

KU got 7 more scoring opps than UCLA, because of winning the Disruption Statistic game. Seven more scoring opps making 50% of your FGs overall, means KU scores a minimum of 7 more points than UCLA.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. KU usually wins the Distruption Statistic game. Against UCLA, it is like KU started the game with a 7 to 0 lead. A seven point spread covers up sooooooooooo many mistakes, so many hot shooting nights. And when KU has an average night, or better, or when the opponent has an average night or worse, a built-in, structural 7 point advantage from the Disruption Stat almost guaranties KU a win.

It is just crazy that other coaches have not been able to figure out how to win the Disruption Statistic game that Self seems to have mastered. But the guy at UNI has figured it out; that's for sure. His athletes weren't good enough get as many strips, so he just ratched down the TOs to zero. Heaven help us all if that UNI coach gets to a major program, where he can pull in the 5 stars and hold TOs near zero, and amp up his strips. He would become effectively unbeatable.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 7 months ago

In the first half when we really pressed their offense, I thought of the '08 team but later it seemed we backed out of the pressure D. Was it fouls or did HCBS purposely change the D?

Tony Bandle 11 years, 7 months ago

great point, kh.....couldn't you just tell he was dying inside because he knew what he could have done to UCLA if he had been playing!!

SoCal is in for a whuppin'!!!

okiedave 11 years, 7 months ago

If we play UCLA next year in Los Angeles, we better be ready to go and play because the fans and team are going to remember how this one closed out.

Ron Franklin 11 years, 7 months ago

Jeff & the Twins are Soft. I hope Bill will go ahead and tell them now before it gets too late.

All three of them lack defensive intensity, and are slow to to close in on the ball. I've recorded, and re-watched all of the games this year....I'm tired of seeing Markief and Marcus' slow *$$ reaction to a their man when they pull up on three....go back and watch...If the Twins are 3-5 feet away from a guy who is about to pull up for a 3pt jumper, they don't go up and put their hands in he air and even try to disrupt the shot. It's pure laziness....and quite tiring. It's like, they give up on the play and slowly move toward the shooter. I wish they'd show more effort on plays like that...hustle to the shooter, get your hands up and freakin' leap!!

Nor are the Twins taking advantage of their dunk situations....if they'd throw those bunnies down and instead of just laying them in, they'd get the crowd and players pumped up.

IF Jeff & the Twins don't develop some toughness, they'll continue to be dominiated by slow, non leaping 305 pounders...and any other average big man.

The refs sucked. But they sucked both ways, all night.

I'm proud of Tyshawn & Tyrel & Mario for playing hard.

Was Self outcoached?

I'm chalking last nights win up to the PHOG.

P.S. I could regularly make 20 of 25 Free Throws by the time I was 12. NO reason these guys cannot get better at this. Last night reminded me of 2003 NC vs 'Cuse.

Ron Franklin 11 years, 7 months ago

No doubt they are quick enough......that's what drives me nuts....the fact that I've seen them do better in the past and now they are slacking.....lack of effort is a poor reason not to excel.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

Marcus has to learn what Cole had to put up with for two years.

Kieff has to learn what Marcus had to put up with for two years.

Withey has to learn what Kieff had to put up with for two years.

TRob has to learn the action is not discreet; that the game flows continuously, not from big play to big play.

They will all learn it by seasons end. Geez, people, we can't expect these guys to be battle harded in their new roles until they've been through the wars. Experience is the ultimate teacher in the game.

Kieff and Withey and TRob just finally got a look at a 300 pounder and it hurt. :-)

They will now each be exceedingly receptive to all of Mannings tips on double teaming. They will learn what Cole and Marcus learned the last two years against 300 pounders...

Double team or die!

Ron Franklin 11 years, 7 months ago

I understand your point, and really enjoy your posts and insight.

I merely have a problem with hustle, and the fact that the twins regularly take defensive plays off. Maybe they have softened up because the refs have called every touch foul possible on them dating back to their freshman year. Maybe they brought that on themselves by being such whiners when they first got here? I don't know.

But I do know this....No experience is needed to hustle and bust ace....only passion, guts, and the will to destroy their openent is needed.

They need some fire down below.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

Agreed about the need to play hard. I will watch the Twins more closely next game and try better to understand what you saw. Frankly, I watched the Twins closely the first couple games and thought they were doing well, so I've been focused on the perimeter to try to understand why every one is so toasted with Tyrel and Brady. And then Tyshawn began to blow me away with the clinic he was giving in all facets of defense and so I kind of lost track of the Twins. I will go back to watching them and try to understand what goes there.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 7 months ago

Bless your heart RALSTER, your avatar always makes my day!!

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 7 months ago

What? That's not you in the picture! Now I understand your response to a date.

Blake Post 11 years, 7 months ago

There were one or two players for UCLA who roughly pushed or elbowed to make room to shoot repeatedly. All fouls, none called.
Here is the thing, coaches teach players to cheat. Look at all of the out of bounds plays. The players always point their way even when it is obvious its not right.
If you don't call the foul, THIS VERY COACH and others will continue to teach them to foul at the end to stop players, making sure you don't hit the shot. UNLESS YOU CALL THE FOULS LEGIT.

Bear86 11 years, 7 months ago

The Hawks caught a break. No ref should call a foul in that situation. Both players were going after a loose ball. I'm happy with the out come but KU got lucky on a night it couldn't hit a free throw to save it's life.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

"Post Script on Ben Fouland (thanks to Marchphog88 for that one)"

For everyone who has not refereed, the unwritten rule does not say swallow your whistle and let a team steal a game by fouling another team constantly down the stretch.

The unwritten rule says, don't let a game be determined by fouling. Let the players make plays and win it.

If Ben Fouland had not tried to steal the game with fouling down the stretch, the refs would have thought, well, I'm not blowing the whistle and letting this game be decided by a foul with one second left.

But since Howland did try to steal the game, as usual, by fouling relentlessly down the stretch, the refs thought instead: if I don't call this foul on Little, we, the referees, will have let UCLA steal a game by fouling for the last six minutes.

It was exactly the right thing to do, as a ref. Long, long ago, when I could still run floor, I did exactly what those refs did. I would always do it.

A ref is not out there to be manipulated into letting one team win by taking unfair advantage. A ref is not supposed to look the other way in order to let one team screw another. He is supposed to call the game as close to the rules as necessary to get both teams playing according to common rules, whether or not they are exactly what is in the rule book, or not. The goal is to let the game unfold fairly and so be determined by team ability and not by one team cheating and another not.

If a ref lets one team cheat like heck, he has to let the other team cheat like heck. But if the other team refuses to cheat like heck, then a good referee tends to reign in the cheating team more than he might otherwise do in pursuit of a fair game. The goal of a referee is to let the game unfold according to some equilibrium of foul calling that lets the game unfold fairly and lets one team win based on better play, not on better illegal fouling.

But, alternatively, if a ref is "letting'em play" (which I think is unwise but which many refs like to do for many reasons good and bad) and one team is cheating like hell, while the other team is playing naively within the rules, the ref will let the cheating team have the upper hand for quite some time, while the naive team playing its own version of Marquis of Queensbury Rules in a "lett'em play" venue gets the snot beaten out of it by the cheaters. Why?

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

Both the cheaters and the straight shooters have to meet the refs halfway for the refs to judge the game is unfolding fairly; this is why the advantage usually goes to cheaters like Ben Fouland. You, the cheating coach, are hedging the game toward the kind of cheating you coach your players to do, while the opposing, straight shooting coach is having to ask his players to "man-up" and not "get chippy" in ways he probably does not coach his players in systematically.

Hence, Self, and other principled coaches, often lose to cheaters the first time they run into their illegal defenses, but not very often subsequently. Why? Because the principled coaches adopt the illegal defense, or at least prepare for it after that, once the referees have said this is how it is going to be in basketball now.

Howland admitted indirectly what happened, when he said KU is a great team that doesn't have a weakness.

The subtext, as they say in Hollywood, is: hey, we fouled them into the next century the last half, because we aren't as good, plus we had a guy have a career shooting night on them, plus we had an MUA on size at the post, and even with all that we couldn't get a W, unless the ref would have let us get away with a foul at the end.

John Wooden used to say that you needed to be a gentleman when you won, because you would meet the same guys on the way down that you met on the way up.

Ben Fouland fouled everyone in sight on the way up. His illegal defense got him from Weber State to Pitt to UCLA. It got him to 3 straight Final Fours with fabulous talent and probably the best OAD post man in the college game in the short recent history of college OADs--Kevin Love--and he couldn't get the ring. And now, Ben Fouland is meeting some of the guys he met on the way up. Some of those guys are referees, who he outsmarted. Some of them are coaches, like Self, that he outsmarted.

But now Ben Fouland doesn't have his unfair advantage anymore. Everyone is hacking and slapping about as much as Ben. But guys like Self are still fouling a little less. They are still letting Ben set the standard on fouling, before they man-up to that level in the game. And the combination of KU taking just a slightly higher road, plus the refs memories of being mercilessly baited by the El Jeffe of Hack'n'Slap for a goodly number of years, who remember Ben simultaneously complaining about every foul called on his team, while coaching his players to hack'n'slap nonsteop buzzer to buzzer, well that combination is making it hard, very hard, for Ben to keep winning big.

In case anyone missed it, Ben's got a bucket of talent on that team. He's not struggling, because of a lack of talent. He's struggling, because he's got no unfair advantage any more, and the refs are putting it to him, when they can.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

Final Thought on the UCLA Game

The only reason the game was close at all was that our bench got beat pretty good by their bench; that's not surprising, because the green wood hasn't seen the Howland Hack'n'slap before. If we meet UCLA again, our bench will play much much better and KU will walk away from them. And Honeycutt won't be unconscious again either.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 7 months ago

UCLANS almost win

Look in mirror for defeat

A night Hawks survive.

SCHNBALL 11 years, 7 months ago

Love all the post, I am not so concerned about who won this "game" but as I had posted before, I was waiting to see the tempo we play against Memphis, but find myself more concerned after this game. Last night, we got into a half court set game with a well prepared team who controlled the tempo of the game. Will that happen in NYC only the opposite, an up and down game. Self's teams seem to play to whatever pace is going on that night, especially against decent competition. We lost in my mind on several fronts last night:

  1. We shortened our bench to nothing in the first part of December!
  2. We can't put away a team that turns the ball over 20 times!
  3. Brady goes under a screen up 3 with 10 seconds to go?
  4. Withey, Releford, do not play well, see very few minutes.

Keeping the streak going is great, but at what cost! This team is not an inside strong team, everyone seems to worry about our guard play, this team is built to play at a much faster pace, that is our strength, I hope we begin to realize that and dominate the tempo.

As far as last night, the game ended up about where it should have with their turnovers and inability to make a free throw, i can only look foward to this team dominiating the game in terms of tempo, Selby will help, but do we have the game to compete with the Dukes and Spartans of the world.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 7 months ago

At this point I would have to say, with regrets, "NO", but that doesn't mean it won't be there by March.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 7 months ago

Good answer but if Selby could have played from game one, the question would not have been asked imo,

Eurekahwk 11 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, it was a call you don't make. But that fat #ss Smith was shoving our guys around all night. So I won't apologize.

Ross Hartley 11 years, 7 months ago

This was not a common loose ball foul. Mario obviously gained possession and there was noone between him and the basket if he would have cleared through between those players. A clear advantage was gained due to the foul and had to be called.

Blake Post 11 years, 7 months ago

I tend to agree with you. And I did not have the advantage of seeing it from other angles. The tv announcer said it was a foul. If it's a foul, call it. Otherwise, players will foul, knowing they are safe doing it. I think the guy actually caused Mario to stumble with that contact. Remember 1981. Darnell planted himself while our man ran along the baseline in an inbounds play, luring Jay Jackson of Wichita State to run over Valentine. Virtually no time was left and the ref did not call it. Jay Jackson later admitted he was so scared because he knew he fouled Valentine. KU lost and WSU went on to play LSU in the elite eight. That's what happens when you don't call it.

Blake Post 11 years, 7 months ago

Everyone take a break and focus all mental energy, mojo, karma, whatever you got... on OU sending out traitor cracked corn from the big 12 with the door slamming them on the way out! Boom!

Martini_Boy 11 years, 7 months ago

AMEN!!! Period and end of story. This will be the FIRST and ONLY time I root for the OU rednecks

Martini_Boy 11 years, 7 months ago

Why did they let that fat a$$ center from lala push his weight around like he the second coming of Shaq? That baby fat was moving everyone forward on each dribble. Hell stick a whole team of fat a$$e$$ out there and have them make contact then push the othe team down to their own end of the court. Noe there's some defense

ZDKC 11 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of foul or not, If I was the UCLA coach, I'd bemoan the call too if it made me drop 3 games in a row. Back to back losing seasons is not good. The guy's gotta be feeling the heat. (Though his streak of final fours buy him some time.)

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