Tuesday, January 28, 2014

William and Mary - Learning From Our Mistakes Part 3

Welcome to the final installment of the three part series on the Debacle at the DAC.  After going in depth on Chris Fouch's game in Part 1, Coaching and In Game Performances in Part 2, we wrap up with all things officiating.

The interesting thing about Frantz Massenat fouling out of this game is that he didn't have a foul on him for the first 16 minutes of this game.  His first foul came at the 3:06 mark of the first half.  He had played 14 minutes and 22 seconds to that point of foul free basketball according to the officials at hand.  From that point on Frantz played for 15 minutes and 39 seconds and picked up four more fouls on his way out of the game.  This from a guy who has averaged only 3.2 fouls per 40 minutes this year.  In the interest of clarification:

Fouls committed in the final 23:06 of the Drexel vs William and Mary basketball game

Frantz Massenat:  5
Entire William and Mary Team:  6

Looking deeper, here are the five fouls called on Frantz:

Foul 1:  With 3:06 left in the first half Brandon Britt drives on Frantz and Frantz gets no help defense, likely due to William and Mary playing with a perimeter big man that Drexel has to respect, so Williams was out of position to help, out at the three point line.  Frantz does a great job of staying in front of his man, but while backing up towards the basket lets his arms go down a bit as if he's going for the ball and gets the whistle specifically for that.  This one is tough to argue, and Bru doesn't:

Foul 2:  This is where things get fun.  Frantz is on Thornton and first has to battle through an illegal screen set directly in front of referee Andrew Marotta:

Then he gets caught in a clear reach in foul, whistles blown by multiple refs:

Foul 3:  This is pretty much a textbook charge.  The help D comes over in the form of Kyle Gaillard, establishes well before Frantz is airborne and falls straight backwards while an out of control Frantz tumbles down as well.

Foul 4:  This is where things start to get interesting.  Here Frantz is on Thornton again and Thornton dumps the ball to a screening Sean Sheldon.  Frantz looks like he's fighting through the screen, something that the refs allowed universally all night long, but with Sheldon holding the ball, Frantz is not just fighting through a screen, but also has both hands on the ballhandler.  It didn't effect the outcome of the play and in a game where the calls had been at a minimum, Bruiser's anger with the call is understandable.  At the same time, both hands on the guy with the ball is pretty much automatic these days.

Foul 5:  This one is the one that needs to be sent to the league.  It's a tough camera angle so we don't get the best view of all time, but the DAC Pack had it all the way.  Frantz had position on Daniel Dixon and Dixon threw an arm bar and then ran over Massenat who falls straight backward.  Note the distance between the referee who called the foul (hand circled) and the foul, but also note that the referee directly in front of the play is responsible for under the basket and NOT the area where the foul occurred.  The correct ref makes this call, he simply blows it terribly and in doing so tosses Frantz out of the game right after he had made a three point basket at the other end, reducing the Drexel offense to an exhausted Chris Fouch and nothing else, and letting Tony Shaver know exactly what would be coming for the rest of the game.

The DAC pack shows the officials whats up.  And in this battle, the crowd is correct, arm bar!

And which ref blew this call?  It's the same referee that called every single foul on Frantz Massenat, Port Jarvis High School Principal and soon to be full time NEC and Patriot league official Andrew Marotta!

Just for kicks here's one more call, again made by you know who.  Foul on Drexel's Rodney Williams:

In a game where the referees let them play, a point guard who doesn't have a significant fouling history fouled out and he did so with one maybe kinda debatable foul, one out and out blown call and all five calls against him coming from the same referee.  Did Frantz getting his fourth and fifth foul lose Drexel the game?  There's an argument to be made, and Bruiser was happy to make it in the press conference.  Regardless, there's certainly enough here to ask the league to review the tape and specifically look at the calls of referee Marotta.

There's another unfortunate side to this situation.  In a what has been a frustrating season for the Dragons, Coach Flint was caught in the moment and before the winning shot could even be reviewed left the bench and went straight after Referee Marotta.  Directly in front of the high level donors and Dr. Eric Zilmer (grey suit top of picture) who were seated in the front row, Bruiser went off on a colorful rant about and at the official, letting loose some frustrations and defending his team.  I've been following this team and sitting behind the bench at road games for 13 years now, and he used words that I've never heard him use in anger before.  And it was clearly heard in my second row seat, further away from him than the big donors and Dr. Zilmer.

The Athletics Department has declined to comment.

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