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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Do The Refs Have It Out for UK? A Numbers Breakdown….


Let’s get a couple things out of the way before getting into the nuts and bolts about this post:

  1. The officiating hasn’t been great this season, although when is it ever considered great.  The issue more than “bad calls” is inconsistency in which contact fouls are called.  I think the block-charge calls have been really good this year, but just how much contact is being allowed on drives to the basket has been wildly inconsistent.  Refs have a VERY DIFFICULT job that nobody would do well.  But even still, many of these guys have done this for 20 years and still can’t seem to call an even game.
  2. Referees don’t have an agenda against the Cats.
  3. As you will see, there is a trend that is developing for UK when it comes to fouls and it can easily be explained.

OK, with that said, let’s talk about fouls.  Since SEC play began, UK seems to constantly be in foul trouble.  UK has had more than 20 fouls in 8 of 10 games in 2016.  The big guys can’t stay on the floor and it just exposes the guards even more.  Take a look at the following 2 stats.  The first are every instance when an opponent reached the bonus before UK in a half.  The instances in red are those that occurred on a neutral or road floor.

2nd Half- Duke
2nd Half- South Florida
1st Half and 2nd Half- UCLA
1st Half- EKU
2nd Half- Arizona St.
1st Half and 2nd Half- Louisville
2nd Half- Ole Miss
2nd Half- LSU
2nd Half- Mississippi St.
1st Half and 2nd Half- Auburn
1st Half and 2nd Half- Arkansas
1st Half and 2nd Half- Vanderbilt
2nd Half- Kansas
2nd Half-Tennessee

And then here you have total fouls for the game, with again the road/neutral games in red.

Duke (21-20)
UCLA (27-18)
Ohio St (17-16)
Ole Miss (25-19)
LSU (25-17)
Mississippi St (21-20)
Auburn (25-13)
Arkansas (25-23)
Vanderbilt (19-10)
Kansas (33-20)
Tennessee (26-19)

So, here is what these numbers tell us:

  1. In the 12 games played in 2015, UK’s opponents had more fouls than UK in 9 of those 12 games.  Since the calendar turned to 2016, UK has played 10 games and had more fouls than their opponent 8 out of 10 times.
  2. More interestingly, UK’s opponents have reached the bonus first in the 2nd half in 8 of 10 games in 2016.  To me, that shows this team is getting very fatigued which is leading to more silly fouls.

And here is the fact: KENTUCKY LEGITIMATELY COMMITS MOST OF THESE FOULS. More than anything, you have a bunch of either mediocre/poor defenders (Skal, Willis), questionable basketball IQ (Murray), size issues (Ulis) or physical weakness (Lee). All of those things combined lead to guys being put into bad situations and then committing fouls. The refs don’t have to have some kind of maniacal agenda to get UK in foul trouble. UK is a bad defensive team with limited depth.  And the fouls are showing that.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

2 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Do The Refs Have It Out for UK? A Numbers Breakdown….

  1. ukjaybrat
    8:17 am February 4, 2016 Permalink

    These stats are useless… no single person in the history of the world that knows what they are talking about can tell you with a straight face that we didn’t deserve all those fouls for several of the reasons that were listed. because in the game of basketball, you could call a foul on every single possession. Despite it being (by definition) a non-contact sport, it is a very physical sport with a lot of slapping and grabbing.

    The issue that I and many others have where it appears the officials are “out to get Kentucky” is because while UK is being whistled for all those fouls, the other teams are NOT. calls are not only inconsistent from half to half but also from jersey to jersey. I refuse to believe that in 44 minutes of play, Wayne Selden committed zero fouls. That’s physically impossible to do while playing the defense they where playing. There are other examples, this is just the most glaring.

    Honestly, I don’t really care anymore. It happens everywhere. It happens at Rupp. but until the NCAA recognizes that there is a problem, it will never be fixed. Home teams will ALWAYS have an advantage, whether intentional or influenced by “a crazy arena atmosphere”. It is what it is.

    • ukjaybrat
      8:26 am February 4, 2016 Permalink

      and the two games i reference specifically are the most recent two, kansas and tennessee…

      the other losses weren’t too bad imo, we just couldn’t put enough points on the board