clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Put down the pitchforks: It was a free-throw violation

Calm down, put your bias aside, and recognize that Troy Williams committed a violation and Maryland was justly rewarded.

Twitter was pissed at the call on Troy Williams. I immediately rewound my DVR, watched the replay, and then tweeted that the call was correct. One of you got profane with me and asked, in a much less polite manner, "are you kidding?"

Well, no. I'm not. And here's why.

NCAA Men's Basketball 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Rules:


Section 5. Free Throw Requirements.

Art. 1. After the ball is placed at the disposal of a free-thrower:

e. No player shall enter or leave a marked lane space or contact any part of the court outside the marked lane space until the free-thrower has released the ball.


Section 1. Free-Throw Violations.

Art. 1. After the ball is placed at the disposal of a free-thrower it is a violation when:

e. A player enters or leaves a marked lane space or contacts any part of the playing court outside the marked lane space before the free-thrower has released the ball.

Section 2. Free-Throw Violation Penalties.

Art. 2. When a violation is by the free-thrower's opponent only:

b. When the try is not successful, the ball shall become dead when the free throw ends, and a substitute free throw shall be attempted by the same free-thrower under the same conditions as those for the original free-throw.

Troy Williams placed his foot inside the lane boundary before Dez Wells released the free-throw attempt and committed a free-throw violation. By rule, that violation results in Dez Wells being awarded another free-throw "under the same conditions as those for the original free-throw." Rule 9, §2, Art. 2(b).

You may not like the call being made at that point in the game, but if that's the case, don't gripe because you want officials to call the game the same way in the last two minutes as they do in the first two minutes. Can't have it both ways.

As a note, if you went to many high school basketball games this season, you probably saw the same call made somewhere along the way since the NFHS adopted the same rules (on the release instead of off the rim.)

You've also seen an equivalent call in college basketball in recent memory. A year or two ago, the tournament was plagued with players outside the arc being called for free-throw violations. It was a point of emphasis then, which is why it seemed like it happened a couple times each day.

The same guy who asked me if I was kidding, in so many words and more, also said "that (stuff) happens all the time."

No it doesn't. If it did, it would get called all the time. What you may see happen is officials give the benefit of the doubt if two guys are leaning on each other and both step in and then both step out. But if a player has his foot planted in the lane, it's getting called. And it's the easiest call an official can make in any game because they are in perfect position and no one else is moving.

You want to blame someone for those two points? Blame Troy Williams.