Much has, and will, be made about the new points of emphasis in college basketball regarding contact. With the goal being to increase scoring after the sport’s worst season in five decades, the days of using a hand or forearm while defending a player are (seemingly) over. A number of touch fouls that have been let go for years are being called, leading to higher foul totals and longer games.
That brings us to what happened in Blacksburg, Va. on Tuesday, with such a call nullifying what would have been the best poster dunk of the first week of the season. West Virginia guard Juwan Staten threw down an impressive one-handed dunk over Virginia Tech’s Joey Van Zegeren with the Mountaineers holding a 26-12 lead at the time. That kind of finish can provide a significant boost in momentum, and with the score being what it was it could have been a killer for the Hokies.
Only one problem: the dunk didn’t count because of a foul called prior to Staten attempting the shot. But that’s not even the biggest problem for the Mountaineers: despite jumping out to a big lead early, they lost 87-82.
And kudos to Van Zegeren for making the attempt to defend the basket, as far too many move away from such situations in fear of landing on a highlight package.