EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the controversy surrounding Sean Miller’s technical foul in last year’s Pac-12 Tournament, an event in which former Pac-12 director of officiating Ed Rush reportedly placed a bounty on Miller to be thrown out or given a technical, this site will monitor the league’s officials during the course of the season through the conference tournament in March. The integrity of the game and its officiating was called into question by Rush’s actions, which ultimately led to his resignation.
ASU coach Herb Sendek will likely not be enthused if he looks at the officiating crew tomorrow at McKale Center and again sees David Hall, a veteran Pac-12, Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conference official since 1996.
Miller might also have a concern because Hall’s crews have called the most fouls and sent players to the free-throw line more than others through the first two weeks of the season.
Hall’s crew gave Sendek the first and only technical foul of the young Pac-12 season last week at UCLA. Sendek was reportedly disputing that the officiating favored UCLA all game when he was given the technical. Later in the game, UCLA sophomore center Tony Parker picked up a flagrant foul for elbowing ASU junior forward Jonathan Gilling minutes before Parker fouled out.
The game, won by UCLA 87-72 at Pauley Pavilion, drew 47 fouls and the Bruins and ASU attempted 58 free throws.
Hall, who has officiated two ASU games in the first two weeks of the Pac-12 season, leads the nation with 53 games called, according to StatSheet.com.
He is one of only eight refs to officiate at least three Pac-12 games to this point. Among those eight refs, Hall (and the crew he worked with) has called the most fouls (44.33 a game). His crew also tops the league officials in free-throws attempted per game (55). Four players have also fouled out of Hall’s games, which is second behind the six disqualified in games officiated by Verne Harris.
Gregory Nixon, who officiated last year’s Pac-12 title game between UCLA and Oregon, appears to be one of the more reliable refs for new director of officiating Bobby Dibler. Nixon has worked in the most significant games to this point with the teams having a combined 10-4 conference record at tipoff.
Nixon, an 11-year veteran, has officiated two games involving No. 1 Arizona — the Wildcats’ games against Washington and USC. Among the eight most-used refs, he ranks sixth in fouls per game (39.75) and free-throw attempts per game (43.5).
Michael Irving, the referee who assessed Miller the technical in last year’s Pac-12 tournament, has yet to officiate an Arizona game this season. He has worked three other Pac-12 games to be one of the eight most-utilized at this point. Teams are a combined 8-3 at the time of his games.
The following three charts involved a few hours of my time putting together data of league referees. I will update the data through the season. Here is a brief description of each:
Chart 1 and 2: Chart 1 indicates the referees who have officiated at least three Pac-12 games in the first two weeks of the season. Chart 2 lists all officials.
Within the graphic, it first lists the years the referees have worked college basketball games per statsheet.com.
The conference record shown indicates the cumulative combined conference records of the teams at the time they played in the game called by the ref. For example, Nixon, who officiated the Pac-12 tournament title game last March between UCLA and Oregon, has worked in games this year that featured teams that were a combined 10-4 at tip off: (Arizona, 1-0, vs. Washington, 1-0; Oregon, 1-0, vs. Colorado, 1-0; Cal, 2-0, vs. Oregon State, 1-2; and Arizona, 3-0, vs. USC, 0-2).
The “Rank” column is the number of games called that involve AP Top 25 teams. Also listed are stats related to games called by a referee’s crew: Personal fouls, average of personal fouls, disqualifications, technical fouls, free-throw attempts and free-throw attempt average a game.
Chart 3 and 4: Chart 3 indicates the number of overall games called by a ref of a particular conference team. Chart 4 has the same principle but indicates only certain locations where the referee called a game.
CHART ONE: MOST-USED OFFICIALS
CHART TWO: ALL OFFICIALS
CHART THREE: REFS BY TEAMS CALLED
CHART FOUR: REFS BY LOCATIONS CALLED