On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 2, 2018, #686… The Lob?
After further review…Perhaps we need to change the game of basketball from “shooting” to “lobbing” the ball toward the basket! Never have we seen so many, what we used to call – poor shots – become so dominate in scoring. Having played basketball since I was a kid and well into my 30’s, I shot many a ball that was off the mark. Today those are called lob passes and some behemoth catches the ball about 11-12 feet in the air and slam-dunks it into the basket! “Oh my,” as my friend Dick Enberg so often said. However, when Enberg was broadcasting U.C.L.A. basketball at Pauley Pavilion and I was on the court refereeing, Lew Alcindor was not permitted to dunk the ball. Those days are gone – forever. So are many other facets of the game.
Ponder this about today’s game: The physical contact permitted by NCAA rules has allowed more contact in the game than it was intended to be. Let’s not place the blame on the men and women in striped shirts! I’m sure that given the proper direction from rule makers these fine folks would prefer the allowable contact be removed. Once the rules makers allowed “tactical contact,” the line drawn was hard to enforce.
Charging and blocking has always been a hard call to distinguish. Now, the NCAA has a perimeter arc inside the 3-second lane. The philosophy, as I understand it, is that if a defender is stationary inside that arc before the offensive player leaves his feet and contact occurs, the foul is “charging” on the offense. First, it is difficult for the defender to remain completely stationary, so any slight movement makes the defender the guilty one. Second, driving offensive players take the chance that the call will go their way.
The play of the center with his back to the basket has allowed the charging of the offensive player into a defender with little regard as to who is the guilty player. On another note, we’ll avoid the obvious disregard for traveling and/or carrying-the-ball.
Finally, at least for now, the congratulatory hand-touching (don’t know what else to call it) is a poor effort in sportsmanship. If players want to show respect for their opponents, let them avoid screaming and pounding of their chest after they make a basket or exceptional play – just get back and play. Respect for an opponent can be shown in many ways other than the perfunctory hand-to-hand touching after the game.
Will you log-in on your thoughts about today’s game of NCAA basketball?
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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

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