Last week Nate Oates, head coach at Romulus high school here in Michigan found himself in a Foul or Defend situation. It was the state quarterfinals against arch-rival Detroit Pershing. Oates, who has fouled in the past stuck to his belief; he fouled. It worked!
Most people I talk to about Foul or Defend lean towards relying on their defense. (Some are still wet behind the ears, not really understanding the situation).
But make no mistake, some people, like a D-2 coach I sat with last night during a HS basketball game say right away, “OH I FOUL EVERY TIME!”
For some, it usually takes giving up a three to tie like myself and my guy Ray Lokar. It’s happened to me twice! I thought my defense could come up with the stop but nope, we gave up a three at the buzzer.
Yeah that’s right, we “see the light.”
Or, the light goes on.
Seven days ago in the Pac-12 tournament the Cal Bears were up three on Utah. They relied on their defense and gave up a game tying three. In the extra session the Utes pulled out the win.
Last night the Bears found themselves up three vs UNLV in the NCAA tournament and wouldn’t you know it; they fouled. Not once, but twice!
“I think that was on everyone’s mind,” David Kravish of California said. “I overheard the coaches talking, and they were like, ‘This time we have to foul. We have to foul.’ It worked out for us.”
Like my friend Bobby Walsh said on Twitter last night, “Old dog meet a new trick.”
Thus far in men’s division one college basketball there have been 43 “foul” situations and 40 have had the strategy work for them.
Cal fouling was the first time we have had a Foul or Defend in the 2013 post-season.
It was cool to hear the CBS guys Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Greg Gumble talk about it in studio last night.