Monday, December 31, 2007

Knight’s 'Horrendous Call' Gets Flagged

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

From 47 feet out, University of New Mexico’s six foot - one inch freshman guard Dairese Gary dropped in a one-handed three-point shot at the half-time buzzer during the Dec. 15 UNM Lobos – Texas Tech Red Raiders men’s basketball game in the Pit. Or was it a buzzer beater? Lobos would win, 80-63.

"I thought it was a horrendous call," Tech’s Coach Bob Knight told the Associated Press after the game, claiming the buzzer had sounded prior to Gray’s release. Knight was angry about the officiating and said so. The Big 12 reprimanded him for his comments.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

There is nothing new about Knight being upset with referees. He has a long history of outbursts. He also is the winningest Division I college basketball coach.

The fact that Knight coached UNM’s coach, Steve Alford, at Indiana and the student has now beaten his old mentor a couple of times, might not have set well either.

However, Knight probably didn’t mind being beaten outright as much as he minded a missed call.

I don’t usually make comments about the state of sports officiating, but this story seemed like the perfect cover to test out the video feature of the blog.

A couple of years ago, I was shooting video for a documentary on UNM women’s basketball program for Dan Vukelich's Golf TV. The documentary, tentatively entitled, "Lady Lobo Love Affair 2006," never materialized, when financial backing fell through.

This is a short piece from a UNM - North Dakota State women’s basketball game where a similar incident occurred.

As seconds clicked down towards the half, Katie Montgomery got a shot off from half court that bounced off the backboard, then the inside of the front of the rim, then the back of the rim and rattled on the front and back rim again before settling through the hoop. Referees indicated three points. However, stop action analysis of the tape shows that the clock had expired 10 frames before the ball left Montgomery’s hand. There are 30 video frames per second, so those 10 frames equals a third of a second. UNM won 75-59.

Time has expired and the lights, indicating the end of the half are illuminating,

The ball has clearly left Montgomery's hand.

The point is that college basketball does not use instant replay, referees get it wrong once in awhile and Knight will get in trouble with the league officials for his “Free Speech” in a system that won’t allow it. I have no idea if Gray’s shot beat the buzzer or not, I wasn’t there. The reason I don’t care is because I view team sports, at best, as nothing more than a game. I can’t muster the fanaticism that many do. That’s another story, for another day.

But more importantly, my video test worked.

Look for more video in the future, especially because I will be taking a broadcast class this coming semester.

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