I’ve been dying to get around to putting this on the blog for over a month now…and, I promise you that we will be focusing more and more and more on this in the future. This basketball season has finally seen attention being given to one of my biggest pet peeves in all of college basketball: horrible officiating of the walking violation. (One day we will get around to carrying the basketball; but, for now we will focus on the travel).
Four the last three years we have all gone nuts watching Tyler Hansbrough travel multiple times per game. In games played in the RBC Center in years past I have literally watched (live) as Hansbrough possessed the basketball and moved from outside the free throw line all the way to the basket without dribbling and without a walking violation be called. As 19,722 fans screamed and imitated the traveling violation, the three officials would just turn and run to the other end of the court oblivious to the most simple and usually obvious rule in all of college basketball.
So, imagine my happiness when the following following video from Bobby Knight (that can also be seen at this link on ESPN) originally aired on the network earlier in the season. Heck, I was so pleased when ESPN originally ran this that I went out and bought hardware that allowed me to digitally copy items from my Tivo and move them onto my computer. You MUST watch this.
Note that they show a quick clip from Duke in the video and then Knight focuses on ‘#50′ with one of his examples. The scary thing is that Knight only verbally identifies five steps in the previous video while the video editor obviously identifies SIX steps without a whistle. I throw this out to the community because we are going to talk about it a lot more in the future and we are going to beat this drum loudly. This is RIDCULOUS and the inconsistency of how the incompetence is applied is even more ridiculous.
Allow me to give you a couple of quick points of which I am working to create videos to put on the site to support the discussion:
* During State’s game in Chapel Hill last week, Javi Gonzalez got called for a very questionable travelig violation that served to negate a sure two points from Tracey Smith after a Gonzalez dish. Again, it was very questionable; surely not obvious. During that game, their were FIVE individual situations where a Carolina player CLEARLY travelled (with three or more steps) with NO call. In EVERY one of these situations Carolina ended up scoring (some were three points). This means that Carolina gained a net of 13-15 points on bad traveling calls in a game that they won by 9 points. (Again, I am working on videos to share with you).
* Please refer you to the following comments I typed just after Virginia Tech’s officially-supported run during State’s collapse in Blacksburg last month.
On the following inbounds play that gave Tech the ball because of the intentional foul, the receiver of the inbounds pass took — get ready for this — at least SIX STEPS without dribbing the ball and without being called for a traveling violation. I am not using hyperbole. I am not kidding. If you count the shuffling of feet as twp steps instead of one then you get to seven or eight steps. Again, this is not a joke. How in the hell can a college official MISS SIX-SEVEN-EIGHT steps with NO dribble?! (Again, we hope to have video later). Of course, the lack of the travling call benefited the Hokies who proceeded to hit a three point basket just seconds later.
Do you think that I am exaggerating? Take a look at the following videos for some representative examples of just how egregious some of these violations can be:
Wake @ Duke on 2/22/09: Duke shot 36 FTs while playing a perimeter offense; Wake shot 16 FTs while trying to attack inside
Josh McRoberts @ Duke
Tyler Hansbrough – Just a taste