Why do I hate it?
They play lazy basketball. Literally, their entire philosophy is to stand around the perimeter and chuck three-pointers all game. That's it. That's their brilliant game plan. Their big men set screens and rebound their long misses and maybe get some garbage buckets here and there, but the wing players stand around and shoot jumpers all game. Coach K has figured out that this works because even though they will miss a ton of threes, they'll make enough to stay in the game. Also, they can just go over the back to get rebounds when they miss.
That leads me to my second point: dook will push and shove and grab on defense and going after rebounds, and they know they won't get called for this. They'll palm the ball (Rivers), travel (Curry), and push players in the back going for rebounds (Plumlees), set moving screens for their shooters (the entire team) and none of it will get called. Usually, they just get called "gritty" and "scrappy" for being so physical.
Worst of all, dook utilizes all sorts of cheap tactics to draw foul calls from the refs. Let's take a look at some of those:
- I've mentioned the Rivers move where he dribbles the ball into a defender and then lurches back as if he's been bumped. Somehow the refs call this every time, even though he's the one who caused the contact (if there even was any in the first place). This isn't only an Austin Rivers move, but he does seem to be the main culprit this season.
- Another cheap move in the three-point flop. This has been showing up more and more across the college basketball landscape, but it's been perfected at dook (thanks to JJ Redick). This move involves shooting a three and then falling backward like you've been shot when nobody touches you at all. Or, if you're as skilled as JJ was about it, it involves shooting and then pulling the defender down on top of you to force the refs to make some kind of call.
- Then, of course, there's the good 'ol defensive flop. I'm not talking about a play where the offensive player slams into the defender and the defender slides backward. While frustrating, that happens everywhere in college basketball. What I'm talking about is a play where there's hardly any contact and the defender starts falling backward before the contact happens. (I'm looking at you, Greg Paulus and Kyle Singler.) These are plays where a ref will normally just shake his head at the defender and/or let the play continue to embarrass him for trying to draw a cheap call. For dook, however, these rules don't seem to apply.
Rewarding this type of behavior is like not punishing your child when he or she gets into trouble. If that starts to happen enough, the child will no longer have any regard for rules or discipline. In the same way, it's obvious at this point that dook basketball is playing by its own set of rules.