Today, I’m going to talk about something that was a hot topic this past season: fouls. Specifically, why fouls should be called even tighter.
Wait, where are you going? I HAVEN’T EVEN SAID WHY YET.
More fouls would make the game more exciting. I’m not kidding. Why are you laughing? No really, guys, it would.
Well, it should. In theory.
Placing more emphasis on foul calls, especially hand checks and off the ball elbows and push offs inside is among the proposed changes the NCAA is considering making in an attempt to increase scoring. Now sure, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “sure, more free throws will increase scoring, but the game will be stopped even more than it is now.”
But actually, it shouldn’t be.
One of the biggest issues in the OVC right now isn’t that there are too many fouls getting called, it’s that they’re not getting called consistently. With a certain crew, you can get away with just about anything and everything short of a clothesline tackle. But with other crews, you breathe the wrong way, the whistle is getting blowed. So players, short of getting a scouting report on the referees for every game, don’t know how to play.
But if those same calls are made consistently, you can adjust how you play defense. And that adjustment should give an advantage to the offense.
I can hear the contrarians in the group now complaining how this is going to make defenses worse, and sure it will somewhat. But how much do we really like defense, anyway? We like the idea of defense. Then we watch Tennessee and Georgetown both fail to score 40 points in a game, and suddenly it’s not so cool anymore.
It’s not going to make defense impossible. Good shot blockers will still find ways to reject shots. Good guards will still be able to step in the path of a pass.
And especially important for OVC fans: it should reduce the gap between the conference and the Big six. How? The biggest difference between smaller conference and the larger ones tend to be size. Arizona is bigger than Belmont. Cincinnati is bigger than SIUE.
That allows those teams to play more physical against smaller opponents. If only there were enforced rules in place that could lessen their ability to be overly physical?
The “enhanced” charge-block rule should have a similar effect. Essentially, it makes drawing charges harder. Which yes, it isn’t ideal for teams that were good at it. (Looking at you, Murray State) But, it should make a defender think twice about making a late move to get underneath a player. Look, that’s one or two fewer whistles a game right there!
So this is one thing I agree with the NCAA on. Bring on the foul calls. Let offenses have a chance to score.
And to all those who love defense; I guess I’m sorry that 101-100 is more exciting than 39-38.