Monday, March 10, 2008

Berkeley Game Follow Up

First on the Ryan Anderson play, this is from The California Golden Blogs, referring to the video posted in the previous entry:

We here at the California Golden Blogs do the dirty work you don’t have to. We watched this video. Over and over and over again. Hoping to see those damnable Bruins hogtie up Anderson and roll the ball out of bounds as the refs received millions of dollars in cash money from Bill Walton. Hoping to see something. Anything.

Well……………….and this is not what the Cal fans are not going to want to hear, but it actually looks clean. I know I know! The refs. Screwed Cal. No hope. Braun not at fault.

It goes down like this. Player #0, Russell Westbrook, comes towards Anderson from behind. He drapes his left hand over the back of Anderson. However, this is done with the gentlest of care, as if Westbrook and Anderson were in a committed monogamous relationship. Then, Westbrook slaps vertically down upon the ball and it looks like ONLY the ball. Then, Anderson falls to the ground as the ball bounces off his knee.

Now, here is where it gets a bit tricky. Even though its in slo mo and HD, it is tough to make out what happens next exactly. Westbrook clearly bounces the ball once, trying to recover it. It looks like Anderson then punches the ball out of bounds as he falls forward. I cannot tell if Westbrook in any way touches the ball also at this point. Another Bruins player comes over, but it does not appear as if he touches the ball. I have watched that section of the video innumerable times in both the side and front angle, but it is still a bit unclear. If you stuck a gun to my head and asked my opinion, I’d have to say that it looks like Anderson was the last player to touch the ball.

What this means is that the refs might have gotten it totally correct. From the video, it appears that the non-call on the foul was correct. And it looks reasonably certain that it was Bruins ball. I hate to have to say this. But I’m just trying to be objective and reasonable about it.

I still think that Shipp’s shot was apparently illegal and should have been waived off. I also still think Cal would have nonetheless found a creative and exciting way to lose the game. I mean c’mon.

Now, about that shot, here's what an expert thinks (emphasis mine):
According to Hank Nichols, the NCAA's national coordinator of men's officiating, the rule is often referred to as the Wilt Chamberlain rule because its original intent was to prevent a team from lobbing the ball over the backboard to an immensely tall and talented player because the play couldn't be defended. "The intent wasn't to stop a circus jump shot," Nichols said.
So, we have even Berkeley fans admitting that there was no foul, and the ball correctly was given to UCLA, and we have the NCAA coordinator of officiating saying that there's really no good reason that Shipp's shot shouldn't have counted. Seems pretty cut and dried to me.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thoughts on the Berkeley Game

First, before reading any further, watch this.

You should notice a few things. First, Russell Westbrook got 100% ball on the slap that knocked the ball from Ryan Anderson's hands. Much like Dee Brown did against Mustapha Shakur in 2005. Just because you slap down, it's not an automatic foul. You actually have to hit the guy, which Westbrook didn't do.

Second, Ryan Anderson is a fucking liar. He claims "they clearly tackled me." Of course, he apparently realized how ridiculous that sounded and quickly backed off. "maybe not tackled me -- but I fell to the ground and it didn't go our way." That's better.

Third, if you watch the play and actually pay attention, you'll see Anderson's hand knocking the ball out of bounds. Right call on the no foul followed by the right call on out of bounds play.

As for the shot, the letter of the rule doesn't look good for UCLA, but it depends on the interpretation. To me, a shot going over the backboard is a shot that originiates from either directly in front or directly behind the backboard. If you're shooting from the side, they either have to make it so that it never counts if you start from behind the plane of the backboard, which would be stupid, or set up some sort of trapezoid from which shots won't count. Quite frankly, it's a dumb rule anyway, but that's beside the point. Ultimately, it's debatable, and I can see why people would be pissed, but tough shit.

One win ought to lock up the number one seed in the West, but they'll have to do it against either a fired up Berkeley team that will be out for revenge, or a Washington team that took the Bruins apart a few weeks ago. If Brockman is hurt bad, it will probably be Berkeley.