Podcast: The midweek pod is back and filled with controversy

Gonna fight back on the “calls always even out over the course of a game”. When basketball is a game that comes down to 2-5 possessions in like 75% of games, it seems kind of absurd to assert that games are always gonna end up with relatively even officiating over the course of a game. Just a 2-3 call swing can determine the outcome.

It’s definitely futile to complain about since nothing is gonna change now or in the future no matter how much you talk about it, but I am very much of the opinion that bad officiating does decide games.


Didn’t put that point together very eloquently, but the point I was trying to make is that you notice more calls that go against your team.

Obviously there are games that can be determined by a call (look at the foul late in the Nebraska game last night) but we might forget (in this case I didn’t even watch :rofl:) five or six other calls that also could have had a huge impact.

Calls may even out over the course of a season, but not necessarily within a single game.

Thought Brendan was quick to dismiss the as coincidence, that Lewis Garison (?) worked all three of our loses. We are undefeated when he isn’t on the floor. Thought that point deserved more discussion. What is Dylan’s take.

Also, wasn’t he the same official that was in the best position to make the double dribble call? I’m not sure, because his back was to the camera. How can that call be missed when it happens right in front of you. I don’t whine about foul calls a lot, because they are judgement calls to a large extent, but double dribble is pretty cut and dried.

I am also getting tired of the “well, if Michigan just makes a couple of more shots, none of this matters” line of thinking. It may be true, but a team shouldn’t be expected to to have to compensate for poor officiating.

Lastly, two bad calls: take away the missed illegal screen and the double dribble, you erase two PSU made baskets and three made technical free throws. That is a 7 point swing that would certainly influenced the ending of that game.


I think there are plenty of signs that Lewis Garrison isn’t a great ref. There’s a reason he hasn’t done an NCAA Tournament game over the last three years.

I agree w/ BQ that it is a coincidence that Michigan has lost those games though. I don’t think there’s something about Lewis Garrison that makes Michigan more apt to lose or that he has a vendetta against Beilein or something like that.

I understand that there are points associated with any “bad call” or “good call”. My point is just that if you swap two or three and correct them, there are almost always 2 or 3 others that went the opposite way,.

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Just my opinion but I agree that the bad calls tend to even out during the season but not necessarily in the same game.


If we assume that officiating “error” is random, it should even out. But we have at least some evidence to suggest that it’s not; home teams get miles more calls, and studies–if hardly definitive–suggest that various kinds of sensibility enter in. I get Dylan’s impatience with the issue (I think) because it’s just not susceptible to much analysis and there’s rarely if ever evidence that one ref has it in for Michigan or anyone else.

If we’re looking for something that could be done about such controversies, though, I would think that the league could have someone monitoring and get the ref in question off of subsequent (Michigan or other) games and just alleviate the tension. If Ref X is causing Beilein’s hair to catch on fire and Michigan’s losing 3 of 4 games he refs then it’s in their interest, after all, to have us–and Beilein–NOT worrying that the playing field isn’t level.

Of course, it could be argued that controversy is fun. But not that fun.

I promise to shut up about this now. :slight_smile:

Mattski, do you have a link to any of the studies that you cited? As an official, the topic really grabs my interest, and while I probably shouldn’t read any such study, curiosity certainly has the best of me right now.

As we talked about on the pod, they do have someone who monitors and grades every game.

Lewis Garrison being a bad ref doesn’t mean that Beilein can just say that he won’t play in a game that Lewis Garrison officiates. It also doesn’t mean that Lewis Garrison’s bad reffing only applies to Michigan. Do you think Tom Izzo likes having bad refs? Or Brad Underwood?

I didn’t say that Beilein should be able to remove him, of course–not sure where you’re getting that. I said that it could be in the league’s best interest to have someone else ref the next game. This seems inarguable to me. I’m sure they do have someone performing some kind of overseer role, but. . . mostly saying they could do themselves a service. . .

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The study I referenced the other night, whose suppositions I questioned, was this one:

If you google officiating and bias you get a million hits, though. And if you add a modifier like race then you get a lot more.

Perhaps they don’t mind it as much though. If we were to play an aggressive press or physical defensive style having a ref who is more likely to miss or under call frequent contact might be a benefit. Allowing them to play with more aggression in their base style that perhaps the opposing team can’t match or would be taken out of it’s normal patterns if it did match.

Why would this be what the ref isn’t good at? I’m not sure bad officiating falls into one category. I guess I can’t keep track. For example, wasn’t the problem in Iowa City that there were too many fouls called?

Do they release official grades to the public?

For officials? No. If you look at who gets postseason games, that’s a pretty good gauge of the best graded refs for the year.

In that vein, for anyone who doesn’t know, KenPom does Ref Ratings. Basically, it’s a grading of refs based on how good of games that they ref. I think it might just be using his FanMatch ThrillScore.

Lewis Garrison at 56 out of 200 with a 34.77 rating.

For comparison, Terry Wymer is 3rd with a 55.71 rating. Bo Boroski is 5th with a 55.52