Friday, February 24, 2012

the three-point flop

In the days leading up to the next UNC-dook game, I'm going to focus on the different cheap tactics/antics that dook basketball employs to win games.  Today's lesson is on the three-point flop.

If you watched the dook-FSU game last night, you saw this in full force.  ESPN didn't do a great job of showing replays of these "fouls," but I do remember one in particular that occurred right in front of the dook bench.  That play consisted of the FSU player running at the dook player to get a hand up for the shot but stopping right in front of the dookie in question, who I believe was Andre Dawkins.  Dawkins did his usual flop and drew the foul call.

Plays like this are the reason a team that routinely shoots 25+ (and sometimes 30+) three-pointers a game still draws as many fouls as their opposition, if not more.  When officiated correctly, this offense should not be drawing the amount of fouls that it does.  Some have said that the three-point shot is a factor that helps bring about parity in college basketball, but there's a reason that the national champion each year is a team like North Carolina, Kansas, UConn, etc.  For the most part, mid-majors that shoot a lot of threes just can't sustain a high enough shooting percentage over six games to overcome the lack of fouls they draw inside.  When they get hot, they can upset any team, but when they go cold, there's often not much they can do to offset it.  This is also the case over a regular season for most mid-majors and teams that shoot a lot of threes.

Coach K has realized this and has somehow found a way to draw fouls that aren't there, and the three-point flop is one of his main tactics for that.  The genius of this ploy is that it punishes a defender for playing tight defense while rewarding the offensive player with the opportunity to gain three points, which is a huge reward.  Not only that, but the rest of the game the wing defender will become tentative about playing tight defense on the three-point shot.  So, dook wins again.

You can see how this really tips the scales of fairness in dook's favor.  At some point, this is going to have to become a point of emphasis in college basketball.  Until then, dook is going to continue to rack up extra points each game because of this ploy.

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