Mailbag: Bardo on ejections, new rules & more

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of talk about college basketball’s new hand-checking rules and officiating, in general. Fans are passionate about it, naturally, and that’s very evident from the latest emails I’ve received. Read my Big Ten Mailbag in this post. Have a question for me? Enter it in the form at the bottom of the post, and I’ll answer the best ones.

[ MORE: View Bardo’s latest Big Ten Power Rankings ]

Was listening to your comments about the new basketball rules regarding hand-checking and such and I couldn’t agree with you more. Basketball, and all other sports for that matter, should be a balance between offense and defense. To try to showcase one or the other is wrong and if college hoops isn’t careful, what we’ll have a game that looks like professional basketball, and we all know how interesting that is (just look at their ratings compared to the college sport). It wouldn’t be any different than having a panel show like BTN has for various sports, but then giving one panelist a distinct advantage by giving him more time to state his beliefs. That would be wrong just as it is in basketball by handcuffing the defense. Let’s go back to the way it was. – Randy Ninmer

Randy I’m with you in terms of frustration with the way games are officiated this season.  Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery can’t get thrown out of the game, but I think it’s safe to say almost everyone involved in college basketball this season understands why he snapped. Teams have already started having their guards take the ball and force contact going to the basket just to get on the free-throw line.

The biggest problem I have with this “Freedom of Movement” emphasis is the NCAA is trying to legislate lack of scoring in the college game.  The college game right now has more players that aren’t skilled in the areas of shooting and ball-handling. They are athletic, yet lack the skill set and knowledge of the game that comes with staying in school 3-4 years. Until the NCAA and NBA can get on the same page about the age requirement, no form of rules changes will enhance the game.

[ MORE: Big Ten suspends Fran McCaffery one game ]

If a player is ejected from a game (as in the Ill vs Penn State game) is he also suspended from the next game? Also, I see players often “bump” an opposing player while going back down court after a basket. I would think this is a way of posturing a little toughness. Why isn’t a foul called on the initial contact? Thanks! – Barb Hartman

Barb, player suspensions are done on a per situation basis. Depending on the altercation, suspensions are dolled out by the discretion of the Big Ten Conference.

Funny you bring up the player bumping into another when going up the court.  One of the referees from the Penn State/Illinois game stated he would have given Kendrick Nunn a technical when he saw all angles of the play after the game. He didn’t have access to the different angles during the game so it wasn’t called. I think it can be used as posturing, it can also be coincidental contact. Definitely something to keep an eye on.  Thanks for your question!

Consistency on offense (from certain players) is a big problem I see with Ohio State. Since the NCAA tournament is based on a great half-court offense, should I be concerned about the lack of consistency on offense? Or will the defense be enough for Ohio State to win games? – Jonathon

Thad Matta continues to win regardless if he has Deshaun Thomas or not. The Buckeyes hang their hat on the defensive end every season, that’s why they’ve been consistently good.  There will be games when they struggle to score, but I don’t see that as a major factor to keep them from advancing in the tournament. All teams go through that at some point, the teams that play the best defense typically come out better as a result. Thanks for your question.

About Stephen Bardo
The BTN basketball analyst and former Flyin’ Illini star is a regular contributor to Follow Bardo on Twitter @stephenbardo, read his past posts right here, and use the form below to submit your questions to his Big Ten basketball mailbag.

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