And then he said, “They’re flopping all over the place. In the NBA, they’d all be suspended.”
At halftime last night when Coach Cal spoke these words, we all looked at our friends next to us on the coach with wide eyes and then turned and gave John Calipari a collective thumbs up for having the cajones to open up that can of worms. And it seems like most of the Duke-hating nation had Cal’s back on this one, which is a rarity. Looks like the college basketball world can unite behind Calipari on the fact that Duke flops more than Mitt Romney in 2012 election. (Not taking a political side, but just based on the expected results versus the actual results.)
Well, unless you are Pat Forde, who calls out Calipari for his comments this morning. He’s not taking Cal’s back that fast. Big surprise…
Many of them have been legit charges, earned with hustling help defense and a willingness to give up their bodies for the cause. And many have been Academy Award efforts by the Blue Devils.
But coming unprompted at halftime from an opposing coach, this was a startling statement — one that immediately got major run on Twitter and all over the Internet. When one national championship coach calls out another, that’s news. And it was especially interesting coming from a coach who works the refs as relentlessly as anyone in the game, and who has gotten more than a few calls in his favor over the years — particularly the last three seasons at Kentucky.
He may have a point, especially later in the article when he calls Kentucky the ‘Establishment’ in college hoops now. Point taken, but he had a little more to say on Cal:
“It was a joke,” Calipari said. “Come on, you guys can take a joke at Duke. Geez.”
It’s reasonable to wonder how the pugnacious Calipari would have taken the joke, if the joke were on him. And it might have been better received if he had stood behind the comment with some conviction. At least he didn’t claim to be quoted out of context.
None of these comments are surprising coming from Forde, but I do think there is a greater question to be examined — will this UK team see a lot of offensive fouls called against them? With Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin’s fierce desire to get into the lane and Poythress/Noel/WCS’s knack for using a bit too much strength when backing a man down into the post, there will be a lot of contact when UK is on offense.
I think Goodwin’s speed and fearless attitude when crashing into the lane will force referees to either swallow their whistle for most of the game, or try to even out his free throw attempts by throwing in charge calls every once in a while. If refs call every foul Archie draws, he’ll be shooting 20 free throws a game. Right now, he is going into the lane a bit reckless, but you have to love his fearlessness and ability to almost baptize every defender. As the season gets going and the freshman jitters leave him, I expect he will be polish up his drive game and start finishing on guys with finesse, avoiding charges.
But I guarantee that every team UK faces this year will come into the game ready and hoping to draw as many charges on Goodwin as possible. But what can you do…
Floppers gonna flop.