By Terrence Mayrose
Tar Heel Basketball Lacking Math Skills?
College of Charleston shocked #9 North Carolina Monday night in an 82-79 overtime thriller. Hats off to the Charleston basketball program for a miraculous win but we here at the T&Two can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Roy Williams (right) chose to follow our “foul up 3” motto.
In case you didn’t watch the game, here’s the setup. C of C’s Andrew Goudelock came off a screen and got the ball with less than ten seconds on the clock. He dribbled to the right wing against Carolina’s Ed Davis and fired up the game-tying three from twenty eight feet with just two seconds left on the clock. The Charleston crowd went bonkers and the game headed to OT, where UNC would eventually lose.
While everyone loves the story of “the underdog”, it’s hard not to think about the “what if ?”. What if Roy Williams had decided to foul up 3 ? Would the game have even gone into overtime? Probably not.
It boggles my mind to watch coaches allow teams to shoot a three to tie, when a foul would limit the opposition to just two free throws. A foul requires the shooting team to: a)hit the first shot, b)miss the second, c)get the rebound and, most dificultly, d)score than it is to just hit a three. Without a foul, the offense needs to accomplish but one thing; hit the three. Isn’t it a simple matter of mathematics that it’s harder to accomplish four tasks, (two of which are being contested), than one?
Monday’s decision by Roy Williams is even more of a head-scratcher when you consider the following. Charleston shot 13-32 (40.6 %) from behind the arc on the night, led by Andrew Goudelock, who had already hit four of eight threes and would end up scoring the last eight points in regulation for Charleston. UNC had every right to believe they’d grab the carom of any missed foul shot; having outrebounded Charleston 52-32 in the game and, finally, Charleston was only 3-6 from the charity stripe with Goudelock missing his only attempt. Can’t see any reason why Carolina would have opted to allow a trey instead of a free throw.
Hey, Roy, didn’t you expect Goudelock to shoot it, given how hot he was? Wouldn’t your team have a huge advantage when it came to rebounding a missed foul shot? I guess we’ll never know what may have happened if UNC chose to foul, but we do know that the theory of fouling up three continues to be eschewed by coaches despite both its logic and record of success.
Big East Basketball Continues to Dominate
Any doubt the Big East is still the most dangerous conference in America ? Even after losing a number of stars from the most competitive league in NCAA history in 2008-2009, the Big East finds itself well represented in this week’s AP Top 25. Villanova (12-1) is 6th, Syracuse(13-1) 7th, West Virginia (11-1) holds down the 8th spot while Georgetown (11-1) checks in at #12.
Kansas Jayhawks Flying High; But For How Long?
Espn.com’s Dana O’Neil wrote a nice piece about how well Kansas’s team has meshed and how being ranked #1 wasn’t much pressure for the squad. Hats off to Kansas basketball coach Bill Self for showing why he’s one of the best around, especially given all the off-court trouble his team dealt with this summer. One question, though. Will Jayhawks be able to stay level-headed once they suffer a loss or two? Stay tuned.