Fake controversy mars end of Western Kentucky-Gonzaga game

There was some controversy at the end of the Western Kentucky/Gonzaga game. WKU head coach Ken McDonald tried to call a timeout, but the refs didn’t see him. There was one Hilltopper — A.J. Slaughter — trying to call a timeout, but even he didn’t look like he was sure about what he was doing. He was facing the middle of the court sort of half-heartedly calling a timeout instead of looking around and trying to get the attention of the ref. Moreover, Jeremy Evans grabbed the ball out of the basket and inbounded the ball almost immediately, so the refs did their job by trying to get down court. If McDonald wants his team to call a timeout there, he needs to cover that in practice. The clock stops on a make at the end of the second half, so there’s no rush to get the ball in. The players on the court have time to take a breath and look to the bench. Since Evans inbounded the ball so quickly, there wasn’t time for that to happen.

In the post game, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis argued about whether or not the refs were to blame. Anthony said, “Absolutely the officials missed it on this occasion. There’s no doubt about it. You’ve gotta have some assumption there as an official and still if that play continues, Seth, you’ve at least gotta give them the benefit of the doubt.”

Davis disagreed by pointing out that there was only one player signaling for a timeout and he didn’t do it emphatically. Meanwhile, he said, they inbounded the ball right away and the refs are running down court.

Davis is absolutely right in this case. The officials are trying to officiate the game. They aren’t looking at every player to see if they are halfheartedly calling a timeout. They’re not even supposed to be looking at the coaches to see if they want a timeout, especially when the team inbounds the ball immediately. Their focus is supposed to be on the action.

The bottom line here is that the Hilltoppers were ill prepared for this scenario and that McDonald’s fault. Period.

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