Free-Throw Discrepancy Lately

I had noticed lately that regardless of whether we were home or away, we had stopped getting as many free throws. It seemed like the foul numbers were a little lopsided, as well.

I looked it up and over the last 7 games, UH has shot 101 free-throws and the opponents have shot 150. We have also been called for 20 more fouls than our opponents. Only 1 game of the 7 has seen UH getting more FTs than opponents, the away game at UCF where we shot 16 to their 10 (and I think they were intentionally fouling at the end).

My question is-- is there something in our playing style that keeps us from getting to the line as often as our opponents? I’m definitely not someone who likes to whine about perceived slights from refs, or conspiracies, etc, but… what the heck? 4 straight home games where we shoot less free throws and are called for more fouls and are -33 in free throw attempts? No friendly home whistle whatsoever? We don’t shoot that many 3s and a significant number of our shots seem to come inside the paint, etc.

So I’m just trying to figure out if there’s a reason other than “we are getting screwed” for why the last month UH seems… to well, have been getting screwed. They aren’t the reason for our two losses, of course, and we also missed too many of the ones we took in those games, but the whistles (especially in the 2nd half of the SMU game) sure didn’t help.

Do we really foul that much on defense and the refs just started making it a point of emphasis? Do our guys try and avoid contact more than our opponents maybe? Anyone got any thoughts?


We play really aggressive defensively and we’re also getting tired. Both of those hurt our cause.


I could see how us getting tired would lead to more of those “lazy” types of fouls where we get beat due to fatigued legs and we grab as a result. Also maybe tired legs keeps us from attacking as aggressively inside on offense? I think this is a solid theory.

We also don’t really have anyone like Davis on SMU who dribbles around for 30 seconds and throws himself into people for fouls, either. Shead likes to avoid contact with floaters, Edwards doesn’t take it inside that often, and when he does he’s not exactly looking for contact, either. Big men seem to always get screwed in college basketball, too, so Carlton not getting foul calls is kind of par for the course.

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The thing that gets me is the uber ticky tack/soft fouls we get on defense when opponents drive to the rim

If a team did nothing but drive and throw up the ball towards a rim we’d be forced to play Elvin at center to do foul trouble


While I do think fatigue is a good explanation for a lot of the discrepancy lately, I don’t think it’s the entire explanation. I agree that by the eye test, we have been getting a ton of soft fouls called against us lately, particularly down low (god the entire 2nd half of the SMU game was soft foul after soft foul).

But, the part of me that isn’t conspiratorial also says that we haven’t really been trying to get those fouls on offense, either. We, particularly our guards, have been mostly trying to avoid contact, IMO.

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I don’t mind most of our fouls. We get aggressive on the boards and protecting the rim.

What bothers me is when we are whistled for hand checks on guards not even making a move 30 feet from the basket but Carlton gets clobbered and rarely gets a call.

And it really bothers me when refs don’t make calls due to score or time. Look at the end of the game when Edwards rebounded his own FT and went to the rim. He was absolutely crushed and no call. Game was over but come on.


The hand checks on the perimeter seem to be one of the biggest discrepancies I’ve noticed. Our guards are ALWAYS getting hand-checked (see the entire first half of the Memphis game in particular), while Shead and Edwards have been getting ticky-tack BS called against them for the last couple of weeks anytime they so much as breathe on opposing guards (see: Davis for SMU getting about 20 fouls called in his favor, including that inexcusably soft touch foul that gave him free throws with 45 seconds left). Edwards doesn’t even play particularly physical defense, has averaged less than 2 fouls this season, and somehow has been called for 14 fouls the last 4 games.


From the under 4 timeout of the FIRST HALF onwards refs made it clear that either SMU gets an open shot/layup or they go to the line for 2.

How people don’t question the reffing from that game even slightly is baffling to me :joy:


That game was particularly egregious considering they were intentionally fouling at the end and still were up +10 or so on attempts. It was also annoying given how loose the refs called the 1st half.


Annoying for sure but sadly it makes total sense on why the AAC be wanting this

Having your best team roll over the league while their best 2 players out with season enders is an awful look for the AAC as a whole no matter how you slice it esp after last year.


Last night at about the 3 minute mark UCF had been called for 7 fouls and we had not shot a single free throw. We had 8 fouls and UCF was 5 of 6 from the line.

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I’m gonna go with the “ we are getting screwed” answer !!


The real answer is staring you in the face. It is referee bias pure and simple.

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Edwards rarely gets calls, and I think it’s at least partly because he falls down after almost every shot.

I thought the first half of last night’s game was officiated fairly, and they definitely let the guys play. Then, at some point in the second half, they started calling minimal contact against us, and nothing against them. I didn’t see anything happen that would have precipitated that, and we didn’t really change the way we were playing.

It looks like Sampson just kind of expects that to happen now.

In the SMU game, they had more fouls than UH for most of the game. We only got more fouls for the game because of the intentionals at the end.

I definitely think fatigue is a big part. When you get tired or conserving energy, you defend more with your hands and less with your feet. That results in more fouls. It also results in more FTs because you’re reaching more as shots go up rather than being in position that prevents shots being taken.

IMHO, I do believe the opposition has more “drives to the rim” than we do. I’m thinking we semi-drive, then kick out of short pass to a big instead of looking for contact on the way to the rim.

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Too many “dumb fouls” in recent games, too… But definitely more ticky-tack than mental lapses imo.

I rarely have a problem with the fouls we get called for. Aggressive D has been our calling card since CKS got here. But Carlton really does need to get more respect. He is constantly getting slapped and 2 hand shoved in the back with no calls. It’s absurd. Even CKS has been complaining about it a lot lately.

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That’s been the biggest issue all year and not just in our games. It seems like a mandate came down from the league at halftime telling the refs they aren’t getting enough face time and to earn their pay. Just call the game the same way both halves!

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That’s been my biggest complaint about refereeing the past couple of years. Games are rarely called the same for both halves