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John Cloughtery On Officiating Hansbrough

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Exactly what you thought he would say.

Adam Gold and Joe Ovies at 850 the Buzz interviewed ACC Chief Blind Mouse Coordinator of Officiating John Cloughtery concerning officiating in the ACC this season.  Cloughtery was specifically asked about whether or not Tyler Hansbrough is no longer getting calls he got in the previous three seasons, a discussion prompted by analysis done at Inside Carolina and actually discussed among THF readers here:

I don’t think my officials are refereeing Tyler Hansbrough any different. Certainly there are passionate Carolina fans, and maybe Carolina coaches, that feel differently. I think Tyler Hansbrough is a strong presence underneath and forces his will on other post players. We have to be careful that we are fair to everybody. Not only the offense, but the defense. I don’t want to talk philosophy, but if the offense is creating the contact we simply can’t identify the defense as being the culprit. If you love Carolina and you’re passionate about the Tar Heels, you’re going to see those plays as one sided against Tyler Hansbrough. I’ve got enough experience to know how that’s the way it’s going to be, and the officials will do the best they can with it.

Translation:  The refs are going to allow contact both ways, especially if the offensive player initiates it.

I actually have little issue with that. As I stated earlier in the week when we beat this particular horse to death, I think there are instances where defenders are choosing a blatant physical contact instead of playing defense. This strikes me as happening when Hansbrough is double teamed or caught in a scrum.  These are the incidents which should be guarded against by the officials and in some cases it seems like they are missing them. That being said I also think straight analysis of FTA is not the best way to look at the slight dip in Hansbrough's production. The emergence of Ty Lawson as the #1 rated offensive player in the country changes the dynamics of the Tar Heels' offensive execution and shifts the balance of the offense some.

Cloughtery also covered other items not included in the post on 850's blog.  When asked about coaches' profanity Cloughtery indicated that a coach has to pretty much personally attack an official or question his integrity before a technical is assessed.  Being a fountain of profanity is not enough to get you a technical but being a fountain of profanity directed at an official in a personal manner will earn the opposing team two shots and the ball.

The notion that the game has gotten too physical and referees are helpless to rein it in was also addressed.  Cloughtery said the referees can and should control the way the game is played by establishing the standards early in the game.  If whistles come early and often for physical play then the game will move in that direction.  That all sounds good but the biggest issue I have with college basketball officiating in general is a lack of consistency.  The fact officiating is different from one game to the next is annoying enough.  The really troublesome thing I see the most if inconsistent from one half to the next.  It is like the referees go into the locker room review the foul counts and decide they are going to make their own adjustments to how the game is called.  That makes life very difficult for coaches and players alike who think the game is being called one way and then after halftime it is different.

To be fair, these guys are human and it is a tough game to officiate.  As fans we see every call against our team as a bad call when in reality officials get most of them right. Sure they have bad games like the players do. I have always maintained that officials never cause a team to lose but that does not mean we cannot continue to hope the guys in stripes have minimal influence on the outcome.