clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

One Way You Don’t Want To Excel

Fouls will limit your minutes in a hurry.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Duke v Yale
PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 19: Marshall Plumlee #40 of the Duke Blue Devils battles for the ball with Nick Victor #21 of the Yale Bulldogs and Sam Downey #44 in the second half of their game during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 19, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

There are some statistical categories you don’t want to lead.

Three quickly come to mind.

Missed shots, and the variety of percentages they affect, are closely monitored and apt to undermine confidence, particularly among younger players.

Then there are turnovers, which involve a change in possession and tend to be both expensive and obvious.

Finally, there are personal fouls, a debit that may have no tangible effect on the game’s outcome or may crucially influence player availability and produce easy scoring opportunities for the other team.

Coaches often stress avoidance of fouls. Special approbation is reserved during Duke practices for those who commit a seventh team foul during a scrimmage, sending the opposition to the free throw line for a one-and-one scoring opportunity.

Last season a key strength of a veteran Notre Dame squad coached by Mike Brey was its sparing foul rate, best in the ACC with 15.1 per game. Wake Forest, replete with inexperienced players, was at the other end of the spectrum. Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons were the only league team that broke the 20-foul mark per game, committing 21.0.

Oddly, the teams that averaged the most fouls – Wake, Louisville (19.3), Florida State (19.3), Virginia Tech (19.2) – produced only one of the top 10 players in acquiring fouls, the Hokies’ Zach DeLay.

Four of the six leaders in personals played in the Final Four, notably UNC’s Isaiah Hicks and Syracuse’s DaJuan Coleman. Both used the extended opportunity to flash their speed and profligacy as foulers, best – or worst – among the top 10.

Look for Hicks, a senior, to emerge this year as a major interior force if he cuts down on his fouls and gets to stay in games for extended periods. He’s both an accurate shooter and a solid rebounder.

Individual 2016 ACC Leaders in Personal Fouls
(Returning Players Noted by Asterisk)
PF Player, Team Min Gs Min Per PF
121 Isaiah Hicks, NC* 723 40 5.97
108 BeeJay Anya, NS* 772 33 7.15
107 Tonye Jekiri, Mi 993 35 9.28
103 Brice Johnson, NC 1121 40 11.08
102 DaJuan Coleman, SU* 649 37 6.36
101 Tyler Lydon, SU* 1122 37 11.11
100 Marshall Plumlee, D 1099 36 10.99
100 Zach LeDay, VT* 1078 35 10.78
98 Grayson Allen, D* 1317 36 13.44
98 Michael Gbinije, SU 1403 37 14.32

If you're going to shop Amazon, please start here and help DBR and while you're there check out Barry’s book Across The Line | Drop us a line