For a team that likes a fast pace, the sound of a whistle isn’t exactly conducive to Alabama style.
The 81-66 loss at Arkansas spoke to that.
Alabama (18-6, 13-2 SEC) received 32 fouls, the most in more than three years, on a night when frustration boiled over. Senior John Petty was sent off with 1:01 left for play after being called for his second technical foul arguing a foul.
Arkansas finished with 43 free throw attempts to Alabama’s eight.
Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats answered a few questions about the impact of fouls on Alabama’s postgame loss. He said Alabama players were, at times, too concerned with umpiring.
“Well, we have no control over the umpires,” Oats said. “So if you’re going to worry about things that you have no control over and you’re not very good at things that you do have control over and we weren’t very good at that tonight. We have to stop worrying about arbitration. They are going to officiate the game the way they are going to officiate it and we have to worry about what we can control and we have to do a better job of that. “
Oats noted that Tide’s 3-pointers are a poor factor, as the visitors went 4 of 16 from long range after halftime.
However, the disparity in free throws was extraordinarily high.
What did Oats think of that?
“I’m not trying to pay anybody back, but I’m not going to talk too much about it,” Oats said, referring to possible fines he could receive from the SEC for criticizing officials. “But part of it is, I mean, we were messing up some. We have to move our feet and get into position. We have to try not to foul the 3-point shooters.
“We did a lot more triples than they did, but I thought a lot of our triples were coming off impulses and kicks and I thought maybe on some impulses, we … we have to do a better job trying to get our impulse fouls like that. they were getting dirty on their records, I guess. “
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said his team’s 27-3 advantage in free kicks was clearly huge in the game.
“We felt like attacking the rim was something we really wanted to do,” Mussleman said. “We did not want to reach an agreement. We didn’t want to go up three at a time. We didn’t want quick shots. I think we did a good job understanding the shot clock for the most part. To my knowledge, we made maybe two shots that I wasn’t happy with. We also had some great prep days. I’m proud of the execution on both sides of the ball. “
Starters Herbert Jones and Jaden Shackelford fouled while Petty was sent to the showers early with the technique. Oats was asked what happened to the last T.
“They had him in a trap. John didn’t think he had made a mistake. Me neither, ”Oats said. “I have to watch the replay, I didn’t see it for sure. I think when the referee called him a foul, he was a bit frustrated. I think he felt like they hit him with something earlier and didn’t call him out. It is a tough game. There is a lot of contact and they called us for many fouls and he said something that he should not have said to the referees. I don’t know what it was, but obviously I shouldn’t have said it. “
Before being charged for 32 fouls on Wednesday, the previous season’s record was 27 in the December win over Ole Miss. Alabama had been charged for more than 20 fouls in just seven of the previous 23 games this season.
Michael Casagrande is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Big house or in Facebook.