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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Poor officiating overshadows men’s basketball A-10 Tournament

Poor+officiating+overshadows+mens+basketball+A-10+Tournament

Division I basketball at St. Joe’s has ended for the 2018-19 season. Unfortunately, both the men’s and women’s teams were defeated in their respective Atlantic 10 Tournaments.

I was in attendance for the entirety of the men’s tournament games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. What I saw left me dumbfounded and outright angry.

The 10 seed Hawks were defeated 70-60 by the tournament’s two seed Davidson College on March 15.

The Hawks lost this game because of the way they played. The Wildcats out rebounded the Hawks by 18, including 17 offensive rebounds. The Hawks shot 10.5 percent from 3-point range compared to Davidson’s 2 percent. The Hawks attempted 63 field goals, yet they only scored 60 total points.

This season-ending loss was a result of the Wildcats outplaying the Hawks. The Hawks had a long season, but they fought hard each game, even when they were exhausted, so it’s not the way the Hawks lost that has left me angry.

The officiating throughout the A-10 Tournament and the entire men’s basketball season has been atrocious.

During the tournament at the Barclays Center, the Hawks had two different officiating crews for their two games.

Lamarr Kimble drives past a Dusquene defender

The first crew, which refereed their victory over Duquesne University, also called several of the games the Hawks played at Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena this season. The tournament game against the Dukes was refereed very similarly to the way the regular season games had been called.

Fans throughout the Barclays Center, Hawk fans, Duke fans and fans that were not affiliated with either team, could be heard complaining about the referees for being “soft,” “disgraceful” and “despicable.” They weren’t wrong.

The Hawks were called for 20 fouls during the game, and the Dukes were called for 23. Of those fouls, the majority were touch fouls, where a player was contacted without being in a shooting motion.

At some point, the players need to be able to play. Officiating across all of basket-

ball has been called out during the past year for halting play unnecessarily due to touch fouls. The A-10 officials need to be called- out as well.

However, there were more issues with the conference tournament officiating crews than just calling soft fouls.

The general officiating has been, as fans throughout the Barclays Center exclaimed, disgraceful. Traveling violations, moving screens, offensive three-second violations and over-the-back fouls have been consistently missed throughout the conference tournament and the season as a whole.

In the Hawks’ 70-60 loss to Davidson, these missed calls, along with the unnecessary touch fouls, played a major role in swinging the momentum at key moments of the game.

Matt Doherty, the Atlantic 10 Conference associate commissioner for basketball, has kept quiet about the poor officiating throughout the conference tournament amidst an outcry from fans present at the games as well as fans watch- ing on national television who have spoken out on social media.

The A-10 conference is consistently perceived by the national audience as less than worthy of being viewed. If Doherty wants the conference to become relevant on a larger scale, he needs to look at the officiating.

When the conference officiating is as poor as it has been this season, a national audience is not going to be interested in watching, which will cause top-recruit high school players to overlook teams within the conference. The A-10 Conference will only continue to spiral downward.

It is time for a close evaluation to be completed by the A-10 in regard to their officiating crews. While some of the referees have called excellent games throughout the season, the majority have not.

If the conference wants to become relevant on a national stage once again, the conference officiating crews must be re- viewed and replaced.

The Barclays Center provided an out- standing experience for fans, but the despicable officiating throughout the tournament may have overpowered it.

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