Defense Question

I need someone with greater basketball knowledge than me to help me understand something…
Houston, TT, and Cincinnati all play very strong defense, but unlike Houston, those other teams are able to do it without piling up the fouls like we do.

Is it technique? Cincy fans always say we play defense with our hands instead of our feet and thats why we called for so many fouls.

Is it lack of superior athletes? Maybe the technique is good, but if they’re not athletic enough, they have to foul to keep up.

Is it some difference in defensive philosophy? Do we run a different defense than those two that leaves our players more exposed to fouls?

I know we all like to complain about high foul counts and foul differentials, but when it happens game after game and year after year, maybe it really is us. And i want to understand why it happens

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I think it’s a combination of our lack of size at the 4 and 5 positions which caused our guys to play close/tight defense that caused the refs to call fouls against them because some levels of contacts are going to happen when a smaller guy tries to guard a bigger guy as well as the fact that we are an underdog G5 school that would always get the short end of the stick from the referees and our opponents should always get the benefit of a doubt in their eyes.

I liken it to Mayweather fighting some unknown fighter. You are going to see the ref allowing Mayweather using quite a bit of dirty tactics but when the unknown fighter tries to do the same, the ref is going to warn him for the first infraction but if he continues with the infractions the ref is going to take points away from him every time he commits an infraction against Mayweather.

Meanwhile, the ref is going to pretend he doesn’t notice Mayweather committing fouls against the unknown fighter and lets him get away with the vast majority of the fouls.

And if the unknown fighter happens to do well in the fight and gives Mayweather a good beating and he lands a tons more punches than Mayweather does then the judges are going to give the fight to Mayweather anyway since he is the champion and the guy everybody bought tickets to see!

That’s the way most sport competitions are judged in America and probably in the entire world as well!


HoustonCoogster - That’s an excellent analogy. Well done and so true.


look at where the fouls are coming from …

  1. we haven’t had a 4 year big in ages
  2. bigs are undersized

when battling for position the bigger player just has to hold ground, while the smaller player has to do all kinds of pushing to establish position
to play defense as a taller big you just have to raise your hand , that alone wont work if you are short. you have to be more physical to impact their shot

also half our fouls were from inexperience, we haven’t built a big with experience yet

galen and corey were our top defenders and didnt foul much


Extreme quickness and overplay that inherently results from extreme effort means chances are taken. They must gamble on what they anticipate moves by the offensive player will be.

Question, do we gain more in points from defense than the opposition does in free throws?

What about the mental stress of wondering where those fingers came from when you were making what you thought was a safe move, foul, possession, or not.

You should never let the refs calling a bunch of fouls against you to deter you from playing tough defense. There is a reason why the refs called a ton of questionable foul calls against our guys against Kentucky —— it’s because their tough, hard-nosed defense is working against the Wildcats and the refs knew it!

I have always viewed the reason behind the refs’ eagerness to call fouls against our guys was to send a message to them that the refs weren’t going to allow them to play tough defense against the Wildcats that would hamper the Wildcats’ ability to score points! This was the refs’ way to tip the game towards the Wildcats’ way and help them out.

If you go back and watch the game the Wildcats started scoring a bunch of points and started pulling ahead of our team once the refs started blowing the whistles at our guys for a bunch of questionable fouls! Guys were punished by the refs for simply getting close to the shooters or ball handlers even when they didn’t touch them or when the Wildcats were the ones that initiated the contacts by leaning into our guys as they were shooting the ball or when they ran into our guys as they were dribbling the ball!