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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: This Team Fouls A Lot But Is That a Bad Thing?

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The last few games have been absolutely brutal to watch because the refs are making it very hard for any kind of game rhythm or pace to get developed.  Refs have a very hard job.  Anybody who thinks that is an easy job is a moron.  But because rule changes or more highly emphasized rules have changed the college game over the last few years, I think refs who have been in the game for 25+ years are still struggling to adjust.  So in some games you see players allowed to battle in the post and in some you see every touch causing a whistle.

Now, with that said, UK is fouling a lot.  In fact, Cal’s last 3 teams have been his highest fouling teams.  This team is going along those same lines, averaging over 19 fouls per game.

But here is the weird thing: FOULING A LOT DOESN’T MEAN A BAD THING.  Look at the UK teams who have committed over 750 fouls in a season, with those in bold making the Final 4.

1991-92: 837 fouls (36 games) *Elite 8
1996-97: 802 fouls (40 games) *Runner-Up
1992-93: 776 fouls (34 games) *Final Four
1974-75: 767 fouls (31 games) *Runner-Up
1993-94: 762 fouls (34 games) *2nd Round
1947-48: 764 fouls (39 games) *National Champion
1979-80: 755 fouls (35 games) *Sweet 16

4 of the top 7 fouling teams in UK history made the Final Four.  And some might argue that is simply because they played more games, but that is in fact false.  Only 2 of these teams played 39 or 40 games, and the 4 of the 7 played 35 or less.  Every Calipari team except the NIT team has played 36 or more games and none of them made the list.  But this team might be the exception.  Here is where they stand now:

CURRENT: 348 fouls in 18 games (19.33 fouls per game)

At that current pace, UK would commit this many fouls depending on the total games played:

36 games: 696 fouls
37 games: 715 fouls
38 games: 734 fouls
39 games: 754 fouls
40 games: 773 fouls

So, here is the question: do the fouls worry you?  There have been instances, especially in SEC play, where fouls have put the Cats in some tough spots.  But it also hasn’t cost them any games.  But the SEC opponents stink and in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game it could be a rough spot for a Fox, Monk, or Bam to go out early.  It will be interesting to see as the season goes on if the Cats cut down on the fouls a little or if it ends up costing them any conference games.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

13 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: This Team Fouls A Lot But Is That a Bad Thing?



  1. A_B
    8:14 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    More possessions = more fouls.



  2. BBNBRIAN
    8:32 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    Fouls don’t worry me. Free throws and defense in general are bigger concerns.



  3. EdC
    8:49 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    As long as it isn’t lopsided it doesn’t worry me much. What other team is deeper? Not many. Agree with above that free throws are going to lose us a game and hopefully not in the tournament. Defense is demonstrably getting worse over the last few games. We have allowed mediocre teams to hit at their season field goal % rate or higher. KenPom stats are showing it too. Dropped for 7 adjusted D a few weeks ago to 14 now. Can’t do that against a UCLA or a Kansas and expect to win.



  4. 3Goggles
    8:56 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    Fouls are bad mkay? Seriously, the math:

    More fouls = more free throws
    More fouls = less minutes for key players

    Fouls are usually a result of bad defensive position or forcing it on offense. (This obviously doesn’t include the SEC games where apparently looking at someone is a foul because seriously SEC officials are the worst.) But any way you slice it BTI, fouls are bad, mkay.



  5. Wildfelinebeeline
    8:57 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    A hot shooting team that can make more free throws in percentages will beat us with this kind of foul problem. In both of our losses, their FT percentage was higher and FG percentage was either higher or as high as ours.

    The tournament favors teams with the hot hands. We have to stop fouling and start learning how to shoot consistently.



  6. anrbob
    9:51 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    @ Ole Miss — 40 fouls
    vs. Texas A&M — 39 fouls
    vs. Arkansas — 52 fouls
    @ Vanderbilt — 43 fouls
    Vs. Auburn — 49 fouls
    @ Miss. St. — 52 fouls

    ave fouls/game in SEC play — 45.8



  7. Duff86
    9:56 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    Fouls don’t worry me. They piss me off though. Makes one hell of a boring ass basketball game, especially when we have such a fast-paced talented team. I want to see this team run the whole game, basketball fans want to see this team run the whole game. Stop calling so many ticky-tac fouls! Let em’ play!



  8. RealCatsFan
    10:03 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    The thing that concerns me is that most of the teams that BTI listed played MUCH better defense. If we were committing a lot of fouls while also playing shut-down defense, I would be OK with it, but the fact is we are getting all these fouls called on us while playing matador defense at the rim. Not acceptable. Maybe the quick whistle is contributing to a lack of aggressiveness on defense because the players are afraid of getting in foul trouble.



  9. CatFanInLou
    10:49 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    These games being unwatchable are not the ref’s fault. Their supervisors are instructing them to call the games like this. I understand about their wanting to free up the flow of the game, but it is resulting in ruining the games. I do not want to watch free throw shooting contests, and I actually appreciate watching well played defense, which this is not permitting. I am so frustrated with this that I am seriously considering giving up and cancelling my cable. This isn’t basketball.



  10. CATNTN
    11:46 am January 18, 2017 Permalink

    Fouls only concern me in that this team, more than most of Cal’s teams, seem to perform infinitely better when there is a certain flow to the game. Fouls at the current rate eliminate any possibility of a good flow to the game.



  11. Bigblueoo1
    7:49 pm January 18, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t understand why it’s bad for 18 to 22 year old kids to practice too much or play too many games in a week, but 40 plus year old men can referee every night of the week. I think the officating has continued to get worse as we see the same officals call too many games