UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Breaking down Cadougan’s buzzer-beater…

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It’s always easy to raise questions in hindsight, but Junior Cadougan’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer deserves closer examination.

Kevin Ollie (AP)

UConn coach Kevin Ollie said he “didn’t have a chance to tell Boatright to foul at that time.” It all happened very fast: Boatright buried a turnaround to put UConn up 69-66 with 5.9 seconds left, then Cadougan raced down the court and launched the game-tying longball.

In retrospect, Shabazz Napier said the Huskies should have fouled. Knowing the outcome, anyone would say so.

But is that the right move?

Some coaches prefer to foul because two free throws cannot tie the game (although a made free throw, a miss, an offensive rebound and a putback can). Others let things ride out, and that strategy seems to fail more often than the other.

Maybe Ollie should have called timeout after Boatright’s shot dropped and then instructed his team to foul. Maybe he anticipated that Marquette would want to re-group, so he didn’t think to do so. After all, in such a situation, the team with possession usually burns the timeout.

The other debate here pertains to Marquette: Run a designed play out of a timeout or hurry up the floor before the defense can set-up (or foul)?

Marquette coach Brad Autry opted for the latter, which paid off big-time. Cadougan, a 16.7 percent shooter from deep, delivered on a lightly contested 30-footer. Of course, in those instances, defenders are reluctant to aggressively contest; fouling a 3-point shooter is worst-case scenario.

My gut says Autry did the right thing, and UConn was wrong for not fouling. If Autry had called timeout, odds are the Huskies head home 1-0 in Big East play.

Categories: General

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2 Responses

  1. Amicus Goat says:

    Ollie said he would have fouled. I would not be critical of him because he didn’t.
    1. Marquette had not made a 3.
    2. The shooter statistically is poor from that range.
    3. The shooter is a better than average free throw shooter.
    4. Marquette proved that they had a rebounding advantage and collected a back breaking offensive rebound in overtime.
    5. There is always a risk of an intentional foul being called. Probability was in UConn’s favor. Their kid simply made a great shot.

  2. jeb says:

    Kevin,
    Any coach who dosen’t foul in that situation should not be coaching at any level. John Calipari blew the National Championship against Kansas when he refused to foul with one second on the clock and a three point lead. This happens all the time in high school, college and pros…they never learn. Trinity Catholic high school op Stamford won two state titles because the opposing coach didn’t foul with a htree point lead and less than five seconds remaining. I feel no sympathy for any team that loses if they refuse to foul.