The Norman Transcript


February 26, 2013

OU making best of foul-heavy games

NORMAN — It is hard to get a rhythm going when the game stops every 45 seconds for a foul, but that’s been the average in Oklahoma’s last two games. Last Wednesday’s game at Texas Tech included 43 fouls. Saturday’s game against Baylor had 57.

Some of that was the Bears fouling to stop the clock, but, still, 100 fouls in two games seems excessive.

“Officials are in a no-win situation,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “Everyone is talking about defenses grabbing and holding, and clearly that’s happening. But if officials call all those fouls everyone is upset because everyone is in foul trouble.

“I think it will be a major topic this spring and summer about whether we want officials to call the rule book or to be subjective and be different game-to-game-to-game.”

The average number of fouls in an OU game this season has been 34.24. In truth, the current fouls per game has declined slightly from the 34.77 in OU’s games last season. There were 35.9 per game in the 2010-11 season. The average was 34.35 in 2009-10. In 2008-09, which was Blake Griffin’s last season as a Sooner, the average was 38.5 per game.

One of the major complaints about college basketball is the lack of scoring. That hasn’t been the Sooners’ problem the last two games. They set season highs for points against the Red Raiders (86) and against the Bears (90).

Kruger is part of the overwhelming majority of coaches who would like to see the rule book enforced. It would cut down on the grabbing and pulling that goes on in most games and allow for more movement on offense.

“The NBA had this problem a few years ago,” Kruger said. “Scoring was going down, so they said, OK, no more. Offensive guys get to move, and the game became very popular again. It can be done.”

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