View Full Version : How do the WCC refs stack up?

01-29-2011, 08:48 AM
I'm not sure where to find total fouls per game by conference, so I did a micro study looking at the Zags past 4 conference games, when the fouls increased significantly, and compared them to the Aztecs, UCLA and UConn. BTW- The San Diego Union Trib reported today the MWC refs appear to be allowing more interior contact, which rattles SDSU's Thomas when he's hacked going to the basket with no foul called.

From box scores I reported the total team fouls in regulation, both teams combined, for the past 4 conference games of the following teams as follows:

43.25 fouls/game: Zags
39.25 fouls/game: UCLA
33.75 fouls/game: UConn
33.00 fouls/game: SDSU

As I said this is just a micro study, but it does initially back up the San Diego UT writer about the MWC refs and it supports the perception the Big East refs allow more contact.

What I find interesting is the Zags first 2 conference games averaged 30 fouls/game. 2 of the refs for the game with the fewest fouls, 28 vs. Pepperdine, included Brill & Peterson who have not worked any other Zag conference games. The game with the most fouls in reg, 49 vs. SCU, included Ditty & Batsell who also have not worked any other Zag conference games. Were there really 21 more fouls in the SCU game game than the Pepp game or were 21 more fouls called? We can blame the Zags for not adjusting to the WCC officials although the first 2 conference games appear to have been reffed completely different from the past 4.

If anyone knows where to get ref stats for fouls/game by conference, please post it here.

01-29-2011, 09:04 AM
That's an interesting look. I get lost in the numbers somewhat, and think they can be misleading. To take the St. Mary's game, for example. Four fouls on Sacre is a much greater impact than 3-4 fouls each on their entire front court of the Gaels, because they don't rely on them for offense. Did any of their key players have to sit for significant times in the game, or miss the end of the game? Gray's 5 fouls obviously had a bigger impact than whatever the entire Gael's backcourt had. We have also seen how one bad call in crunch time (Rob's elbow, Micky's Immaculate Continuation, no-calls when Rob has the ball on offense on two separate possessions at the end) can suck the wind out of a team; a team can overcome bad calls early in the game, but late in a game it's a different story. The SMC fouls were even, essentially, because they were fouling Rob like crazy in the first half, and quit for the second. Meanwhile, the Gaels started getting touch foul after touch foul 35 feet away from the basket in the second half. I say all this I guess just to make a small point that sometimes when, and not how many, fouls are called can have a huge impact. (St Mary's went on a 7-0 run after that Sacre double foul...)

Once and Future Zag
01-29-2011, 09:21 AM
The WCC doesn't really have a dedicated ref crew.

A couple years back I ran across an article that mentioned that the Pac-10, the WCC, and a third conference (WAC or MWC - can't remember now) all share a ref pool.

The other thing is that GU has a tendency to play a bit more physically (due to the more national schedule) than the "league style" and that plays into getting more fouls if the refs have a preconception of what "WCC ball" is like. If you have been calling Pepp/LMY, or Portland/SD, they are less physical teams so you (as a ref) are not conditioned for the GU ball - though SMC, USF, and SC are starting to also move towards more of a "big league" style of ball rather than the small-conference finesse play that the WCC is more percieved as playing.

I think Sacre's the poster boy for the weaknesses in the foul calling in the league. He's a big physical center so he (historically) gets a few extra fouls on the defensive end since a lot of WCC teams have 6'9" big PF's at "center" - though he's getting better at avoiding them over the course of this year.

He's also strong enough to (mostly) shrug off the manhandling on the offensive end that a "finesse" C/PF would draw - and other teams players know they can mug him without getting a call.

01-29-2011, 09:24 AM
Good point on the timing of the fouls.

One key issue that jumps out for me is a difference of 10 fouls/game vs. the MWC and Big East. Let's assume those 10 fewer fouls are evenly distributed 5 each, taking 5 fouls off from each team greatly impacts the game. If the Zags had 5 fewer fouls called against SMC Gray would have finished the game and Sacre would have played significantly more in the 2nd half. The difference between 33 and 43 fouls/game is huge.

Demetri Awesome
01-29-2011, 09:34 AM
Bottom line are guys are bigger and more physical and its hurting us. The last foul on Grey wasn't the right call. The aussie could barely keep up with Grey and when Grey jump stopped before pulling the trigger the aussie folded with a bit of shoulder contact. No other conference would call that. Grey was almost driving perpendicular to the basket how in the heck can that be an offensive foul.

01-29-2011, 10:11 AM
Watching Nova-Gtown this AM. Less than a minute left Gtown up 1. Chris Wright gets trapped and starts whirling elbows, one of which knocks a Nova player over (or appears to). This is @ Nova. Big East refs let the game play on. Nova player looks like he flopped. No video review, no stoppage in game flow.

It's just plain different in the major conferences. I applaud the Big East.

01-29-2011, 01:49 PM
The WCC doesn't really have a dedicated ref crew.

A couple years back I ran across an article that mentioned that the Pac-10, the WCC, and a third conference (WAC or MWC - can't remember now) all share a ref pool.

Yes, the refs work multiple conferences. I wonder if each conference provides instructions for officiating their games that could alter the calls made by officials from one conference to another. Doesn't Dave Libbey as Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officiating for the WCC have some say on how the WCC games are officiated? From the WCC website is this paragraph explaining his duties;

"Libbey will be responsible for recruiting officials, assigning officials for exhibition, conference and non-conference games hosted by WCC institutions, and present recommendations of officials for assignment in the WCC and NCAA tournaments. He will also supervise, train, mentor and evaluate WCC officials and work with the conference office on an officiating policy and procedures manual."

I would expect Libbey and others in his position within the collegiate ranks to shape the officiating policy within their conferences so that refs would alter their calls depending on the conference they are working for. It would be interesting to hear from refs if there are differences in the expectations of the refs between conferences and what those differences are.

01-29-2011, 02:32 PM
IF the consensus among the conference administrators is that GU's dominance is getting bad for the league and it would be better if the league had more parity, the message, however sugar-coated would ring loud and true to the people that stand to benefit - like Libby, who now has a cushy job that is essentially his until he is not "wanted" anymore.

It does not take a giant conspiracy theorist to come to the conclusion that GU will not get the benefit of the doubt this year. The last 3 games have proven that. Yes, SCU kicked our ass, we would have lost to whomever reffed - but there were atrocious calls. USF - No one will ever convince me that the refs did not "win" that game. Not when they bailed out USF everytime in critical situations. SMC, we could have lost anyway, but we'll never know what would have happened IF Steven Gray was not called for touch fouls that could be called on any play, or what would have happened if Sacre did not have a foul assigned to him that even the play by play announcers said was dead wrong, leading him to sit through important minutes of the second half.

We will NOT get the benefit of the doubt this year. Period. Our first two rounds in Vegas may be the worst yet, I am not hopeful.