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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 20, 2006 at 12:49 PM

Monday musings

Lots of discussion here about the refs.
Here’s a few of my thoughts on that:
• Here’s how I understand the officiating works at the NCAA Tournament. The refs are not all from one conference (in reality, all college basketball refs generally work for several conferences at once). They send a pool of officials from different conferences to each site, then pair them together. None of the refs were from the Pac-10 conferences. I know Shows has done a lot of SEC games, for instance. But none of those guys had worked any Husky games any time recently and none of the UW people I talked with knew who any of them where.
• I never buy claims of bias. I didn’t at the Super Bowl and I don’t here. Now, officials can be influenced by home crowds, pleads from coaches and anticipating calls against star players — which is where I think guys like Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick seem to always benefit. I think Brandon Roy may be reaching that point where he is getting the benefit of the doubt, as well.
• No doubt, the game was called differently than a lot of others — UW’s 39 free throws were four more than the Huskies had shot in any other game this season. It’s interesting that it’s always been thought that one reason Pac-10 teams underachieve come tournament time is that they aren’t prepared for referees who don’t call a close game and let a lot of things go. How this game was called seemed the opposite in many cases.
• Still, I think the Huskies were the more aggressive team, particularly down the stretch. Illinois seemed to settle for a lot of jumpers while Roy, Justin Dentmon and Bobby Jones did an awful lot of driving to the hoop — Roy and Dentmon accounted for 26 of UW’s 39 free throws. Dee Brown said as much afterward.
• At halftime, much of the talk in the press room was how all the calls seemed to go against UW in that last four-minute stretch as Illinois came back. But that was one of the few times when Illinois seemed like the more aggressive team — almost all the calls came on drives to the hoop.
• The free throw numbers further indicate that it was the type of fouls Illinois was committing and when they came that was as important. Illinois was whistled for 28 fouls to 17 for UW, which is not quite as much of a disparity as the free throw attempts — UW shot 39 to 11 for Illinois. That indicates that Illinois was called for a lot more fouls when the Huskies were in shooting situations, largely on drives to the hoop — all 14 of Roy’s attempts came on such plays.
OK, enough with the officials. The Huskies are meeting the media today before practice. They will practice in Seattle tomorrow then leave for Washington D.C. — it’s now spring break so they can take off early. They did much the same last year when they left three days early to get acclimated to the altitude of Albuquerque.

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