Inconsistent Wolfpack Falls Flat In Littlejohn: Clemson 73 – NC State 56

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    We lost the game at Clemson because we stunk. Having said that, I did some analysis about NC State games Luckie has called and saw some eye opening trends:

    Luckie has called 5 NC State games so far this year. He has called 1 game for UNC and 2 for Duke and 3 for UVA this season. He has called 6 for WF.

    Luckie called the Pitt, first WF game, FSU game and Clemson game. Luckie also called Central. NC State is 1-4 in those games.

    The games where Luckie officiate have other outliers for NC State in many categories. First, let’s look at total fouls. In the 4 ACC games that Luckie called, NC State had 82 fouls called against it versus the opponents’ 73. In all other ACC games, NC State has had 155 fouls called against 177 for opponents. So in Luckie called games, we foul 9 times more, but in all other games, we foul 22 times less. That lower fouling would seem to coincide with our more passive defensive style.

    In the 4 ACC games that Luckie worked in ACC play, NC State shot 71 free throws versus 115 for opponents. In the rest of its games, NC State shot 192 free throws to opponents’ 196. We’re to believe we’re roughly even versus all other ACC opponents (including UNC and Duke), yet were -44 in games Luckie has called?

    More interesting is how calls against an individual player can influence the outcome of the game. NC State has had 8 players foul out this season, but 3 times the player has been Warren. Warren plays our most minutes, so he admittedly gets the most opportunities to foul, but he also plays out on the wing where there is less contact, and he doesn’t pick up a lot of offensive fouls. Tellingly, 3 of the 5 games Luckie worked, Warren fouled out. Those were the ONLY games all year that he has fouled out all season. We’re to believe that TJ Warren is a fouling machine when Luckie is on the whistle who is disqualified at a 60% pace, yet never fouls out the rest of the year? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    I’ve always argued that it is hard for dirty officiating to influence the total number of fouls in a game. It’s too easy to catch that obvious discrepancy. It is a little easier to change whether a foul call generates free throws (see the Syracuse game), though people are likely to spot that. The biggest influence is changing who gets called for the fouls. If one team’s best player is ineligible, then they’re far more penalized than if another player’s scrub is out, or they have 5 fouls evenly distributed.

    There’s an ax to grind there. It’s pretty obvious. One just needs to look at the stats. Deb should do something about this.

    If one looks at the stats, he can also find pro-UNC bias in officiating. It’s been staggeringly bad in the Williams tenure when looking at tempo based statistics. Duke’s gotten the second best benefit of the whistle and their outlier is based on doing analysis when one looks at statistics based on the percentage of offense that comes from the 3 pointer. Duke’s bias hasn’t been quite as bad as the average fan thinks.

    This is part of why I increasingly dislike college basketball.


    Dear Mr. Ryebread,

    Awesome work. A+. Math does not lie. And yes, if she hasn’t, Deb needs to see your good work here. At the risk of her missing your post, if you haven’t or don’t want to, with your permission and with due credit to be awarded, may I copy/paste and email this to her?

    Forever Capitalistic,

    John Galt


    ^But John, Deb is going to be dealing with Cuffy Meigs (aka Swoffy)…


    So a loss to a good defensive Clemson team in a game that 99% thought we would lose, 72 hours and 850 some odd miles after a heartbreaking loss to the #1 team in the nation, warrants the firing of the coach and AD? Y’all are nuts.

    Yep. Something about this thread brought out the loonies.

    Go Wolfpack.

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