Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Locked on Sports: To foul or not: The answer is simple

Locked on Sports: To foul or not: The answer is simple: "When a basketball team is up by three points in the final seconds of a game, it has the option to foul the other team. This puts the opponent at the free-throw line, eliminating the chance of hitting a game-tying 3-pointer.

Numerous variables go into this decision: how much time is left, rebounding, inbounds plays and more.

However, no matter how you crunch the numbers, the correct move is to foul.

Yet coaches make their decisions based on fear of the worst-case scenario and blow this call almost every time.

Friday night, Washington had a three-point lead with seven seconds to play and decided not to foul a Connecticut player. Instead, Rashad Anderson, a 41-percent shooter from 3-point range, tied the game with 1.8 seconds left.

I can comfortably say had the Huskies fouled instead of trying to prevent the shot, they would have played another game and possibly would be on their way to Indianapolis for the Final Four."


Myk said...

--- Since this is a blog on coaching I will have to note Locke's argument yesterday regarding why you "must" foul in late game situations when up by 3. While I believe that it makes sense in some cases, I do have to disagree with Locke's logic.

In Locke's eyes you should fould because the percentages are so greatly in your favor and the reason that coaches do not do this is because they are "coaching scared". While the first point appears to be sound I think the second point is a bit off base.

Just because the numbers point to completing the logical play, coaches have never been known to think logically. Instead they are creatures of habit and typically do whatever has been done in their profession in the past. This of course is not an excuse but it is the facts.

However, one point I would note is that even fans are not always willing to follow the logical path. For instance during the 2005 Football Season the Seahawks had a 100% conversion rate on 3rd and 1 plays. This of course would lead one to believe that they were more or less unstoppable on these plays. This along with there high Red Zone TD efficiency would logically lead to large shift in strategy, that I am pretty sure most would not follow. Based on the numbers it is "logical" that they should have went for a 2pt conversion everytime they scored a TD. Since they averaged about 3-4 TDs a game the team was in effect leaving 3-4 pts on the board when their numbers prove that they had a reasonably high chance on converting each time they went for it...

As I said before, I don't think many fans/coaches would follow this strategy (although I think it is interesting that most video game players do follow this strategy) because it is too foreign to them. This of course proves my point, we are not "coaching scared" we are just doing what we have always been taught to do.

Anonymous said...

The answer isn't're just using percentages from the NBA and using them in NCAA.

The 3-Pt line is closer in the NCAAA's but shooters are more inconsistent than NBA shooters. I don't think you can pull statistics from the NBA and tranfers them to the NCAA's and expect them to hold.

I'm sure if you had the numbers from the NCAA's you'd use them, but I still agree with the coaches. Up by 3, you know what they need to do. You know who'll they'll likely target and where they'll want it.

When you're playing the rebound, you'll never know what'll happen and with the way the UW Huskies were getting fouls called against them, I would be surprised if UConn were given another trip to the line anyway.

BLACK said...

Yeah, that was fuckin dumb Locke, you put no thought into that at all, just parroting what someone else said, LAME.

God this is soooooo awesome, Locke, you're a fuckin' douche bag. Do you know that Gordon Curvey is payin me to fuck with you? There's a whole movement in the Central District to get black people to stop listening to KKKJR until you bring in more on air talent of ethnic proportions (lol). Right now we are passing around a petition to get the 2liveStews on air in Seattle we have 2,647 signatures right now. This is soooo great. :) Have a good one Lockester, ya bitch. :)