Derrick “officials-ain’t-doing-him-any” Favors

First, a disclaimer. I’m not here to disparage ACC officiating, or to make any apologies for Derrick Favors. But…..I just…have…to…say….this: Doesn’t it seem like he’s got some kind of freshman hex going, where officials aren’t giving him the credit they might an upperclassmen in the post?

It happens maybe once a game or so, where there’s action down low, the whistle blows, Favors is involved in the play, foul on No. 14. He’s gotten to where he doesn’t show a ton of reaction to the calls, so sometimes I wondered if it was just me – especially on the road, where opposing fans are ever so gracious about it.

But when Coach Paul Hewitt mentioned a fairly egregious one from the Wake Forest game on Saturday, in what looked like a clean block against Chas McFarland but was instead ruled Favors’ second foul, I figured I was on the right track. I actually just looked back in my play-by-play notes from the game, and I’d written: “Block?”

Somehow we got on the subject in the press conference after the UNC game Tuesday night, and this is what Hewitt said about it:

“It’s still a mystery for me,” said Hewitt, who threw in a disclaimer of his own that officials are doing a good job this year in general but then….”I look around and see some of the calls that aren’t called when he’s involved.”

Hewitt said he saw a similar block watching film of the Duke-Carolina game. Same official. No foul was called.

“It’s really tough,” Hewitt said. “I give the young man a lot of credit. He’s not acting out. He’s not showing any frustration on the court. Maybe sometimes in the locker room or after the game or when he comes out of the game, he might mumble something under his breath. For an 18 year old kid, I know I’d be pulling my hair out.”

Favors, for his part, had been briefed to some extent coming into the season not to expect the benefit of the doubt from officials as a freshman.

“I pretty much expected that,” Favors said. “I still get a little frustrated, but I know it’s because I’m a freshman. I don’t have that respect yet from the refs.”

So I went to Gani Lawal today too, wondering if as a junior, he notices a difference in how fouls are called on him now vs. his freshman year.

That got a smile.

“With officials it’s like the weather, you never know,” Lawal said. “They may be good. They may be consistent. They may not be consistent. As far as earning respect for calls, I’ve been here three years; I still don’t feel I get the great calls. What I tell Derrick is the same thing I’ve been saying all year, just ‘You’ve got to play through it. That’s all you can do. If you get early foul trouble, when you get back in the game, try to dominate.’”

For all his foul trouble and the minutes missed, Favors hasn’t fouled out of a game yet this season. So it seems he’s doing a decent job of keeping his aggressiveness but still playing smart once he picks up the fouls.

Now I open it up for discussion, to see if anyone has seen the glass-half-empty sometimes like I have, or if you guys think it’s just pointless to cry and moan about officiating anyhow.

50 comments Add your comment


February 18th, 2010
10:27 pm

Favors has looked good but with the hype I just expected more. I hope he stays another year. He could really be a stud.

Biff Pocoroba

February 18th, 2010
10:29 pm

Hewitt needs to man up and a T every now and then instead of just sitting on the bench and pouting. If he would stick up for his players sometimes, they might respect him more instead of complaining about playing time.


February 18th, 2010
10:38 pm

So Derrick misses extended minutes but has never fouled out – another example of poor coaching with an overconservative policy of taking folks out with 2 fouls. Of all teams, this one has the depth to deal with foul trouble yet Hewitt is so scared of having someone foul out that he’ll sacrifice having his best players in the game.


February 18th, 2010
11:46 pm

Favors is just an overrated freshman. In his case, I wouldn’t put it all on the zebras. But your post raises bigger issues. When will someone in the press actually stand up to the joke that is officiating in the ACC? Can any visiting team get a fair call in Cameron (not that it would have made a difference for Tech this visit)? Even though a hostile Coach K screams at the refs every game, can anyone recall him ever getting a technical? Sometimes watching Duke ACC home games is like watching WWE….you could publish the score in advance. It’s no accident that Duke was destroyed at Georgetown…there were no ACC officials to rig the results. Why do reporters just accept that this is just the way it is. Why not show photos/video of the bad calls and document the abuses? Press the ACC senior officials for answers. Do something about it and don’tt just laugh and hide behind “objectivity,” which is really code for laziness or “I’m afraid I’ll lose my press credentials if I rock the boat.” I don’t think anyone at the AJC/Raleigh paper or Wash. Post has the cojones to do their job. (Why? See previous sentence.) And that stinks more than Favors’ foul shooting.


February 18th, 2010
11:46 pm

Good post. Derrick’s not whining shows his class. So many CRAZY calls against him but none hurt worse than the 3 quick ones against Duke up there. The officials made sure Derrick, then Gani, would not play any factor in the game’s outcome. I lost any (if I ever had any) respect for ACC “officiating.” I would like have the “job” of the head of ACC officials. Talk about a do-nothing job..


February 19th, 2010
1:54 am

I think in part it is due to the fact that Favors is usually much stronger than whoever he is matched up against. How many times has he just raised up and had a guy fall off him and he is whistled for a foul? Poor officials aren’t able to account for the player just being stronger.

LOST to UGA 66-73.

February 19th, 2010
5:36 am

The officials are NOT Derrick Favors’ problem.

What hogwash spin is this ?

Jesse Stone

February 19th, 2010
8:19 am

I wish officials would call fouls for “flopping” as they do in soccer. Duke players are the best floppers in the league.


February 19th, 2010
8:41 am

All that talent wasted,man,ya’ll need a coach!I think Georgia made a good hire in Fox,Tech needs a change,all that talent…wasted!

Bobby got it right...

February 19th, 2010
8:45 am

Two fouls = bench…for a while. Normally you do not foul out riding the pine.

MourningJacket on Favors foul shooting is correct. Hard to believe someone with so many other skills cannot shoot a “free” throw. Actually that could apply to the team.


February 19th, 2010
9:00 am

Sarge1, I agree. The Duke game at Cameron comes to mind when I think of bad officiating. Duke really needed to win that game and the officials did everything in their power to negate any type of advantage Tech had in the post. Gani picks up two fouls in 33 seconds and Derrick is sitting with 3 fouls at the 12:00 minute mark. Enter Brad Sheehan. Game over! I also found it interesting that Jon Scheyer played 39 minutes and only picked up one foul. Typical BS when playing in Cameron.

The two most inconsistent officials in the ACC are Jamie Luckie and Karl Hess. Anytime we get one or both of those guys calling our game, we end up several guys fouling out or in foul trouble early and it seems we never have a questionable call go our way. ACC officiating has been horrible all year.


February 19th, 2010
9:13 am

The Big Ten had the same problem with Bobby Knight as the ACC has with Coach K. It wasn’t until the league decided that they had enough and started T’ing him up that things started evening out.

Everyone knows (except maybe Dickie V.) that Coach K. starts working the officials the moment they walk in the door of Cameron until the game starts. And until the ACC does what the Big Ten did with Knight, nothing will ever change.


February 19th, 2010
9:17 am

Yeah, there is the “new guy don’t get a break” thing. But it has always been there. College and NBA.

Favors is having a problem handling some of the better big men in the college game. My opinion he could use another year in college without Lawal on the court. Favors is not a center but a power forward and that is Lawal’s preferred position.


February 19th, 2010
9:30 am

He needs to learn to play the first 5 minutes of each half like he has 4 fouls. Too often he gets 2 quick fouls early in the half and then his minutes are reduced. He needs to realize that just his presence on the floor is worth alot to the team. He does not need to try to block every shot.

He’s a very likable kid and everyone is rooting for him. I just wish he would show a little nasty streak on the court. Continue being a nice guy off the court, but it’s okay to be a little mean on the court. GT forward Tom Hammonds (85 – 88) is the perfect role model for D-fave. Go watch films of Hammonds (even as a freshman).

Go Jackets!


February 19th, 2010
9:58 am

Greata Blog Carroll. Are you going to be covering the UM game?


February 19th, 2010
10:31 am

Carroll, when and who was the last player that fouled out of a game?

I can’t remember one. I think Phewitt’s ever changing rotation doesn’t give a player enough time to get five fouls.


February 19th, 2010
10:44 am

Like Gani said, you just have to play through it. Yes, the officiating is pretty inconsistent, but I just don’t think they decide before hand who they want on the floor. I haven’t really complained about a call since the phantom foul on JJ Reddick that I think was whistled against Jack a few years back. I was 3 rows from the floor last Saturday at WFU and bad/no calls went against both teams. I think a lot of times the officials blow the whistle simply by anticipating a foul, but again, I really don’t think they want one team to always win. Finally, it sure isn’t like GT hasn’t had their share of FTs, they just don’t hit them. Go Jackets! Fire Blewitt!

Hoops Guru

February 19th, 2010
11:04 am

Favors is such a talent, and you are right, everyone is rooting for him.
We wonder about Favors and next year, the way Lawal was eaten alive by Carolina, he’s liable to be back at Tech to no one’s surprise. Plain and simple, he does not play hard…watch him run the floor..disgusting.
Wonder what kind of talent the two redshirts have. They are going to be Tech’s inside game next year. I worry about we lose four guys this year and we have one recruit coming in…you do the math. Those two redshirts better be ready.

neil marlowe

February 19th, 2010
12:24 pm

at this point I have to say Favors is a disappointment. This is based on seeing him in three games on TV. I have yet to see him make a move to the basket. all I have seen is dunks on the front end of a fast break. he may be the greatest kid on earth but is he helping Tech win basketball games? Is he playing up to his potential? One and done would be a tragic mistake.

GT in CT

February 19th, 2010
12:43 pm

I think the story right now is the guard situation. Moe Miller seems to be the only steady PG. Has Hewitt bet on the wrong guy(s) most of the season?

Jackets Rock

February 19th, 2010
12:51 pm

I would love to see Derrick stay another year…he is already an all-ACC freshman. He could be all-American next season.

As for next year, I might be one of very few people that thinks we will be okay without Lawal and Favors (of course, we’d be better with them). Hulsey and Miller will be our main two guys inside, both very talented. Hulsey was going to see significant PT this year before getting hurt. Miller is BIG. Plus, Oliver and Rice Jr. are going to be starters — I think they have been two of our more consistent players as freshman. Jason Morris looks to get significant PT. Our guards Mo, Shump, and Mfon have to improve. Hewitt just needs to play whoever looks decent — which may change from a game to game basis.


February 19th, 2010
1:28 pm

Favors will be ok and I do think his strength gets calls on him in college that he will not get in the pros. Was hanging his head but appears better now. Nevertheless. fouls are not the reason he hasn’t shown much inside post up shooting. Some of that may be due to coach not giving him much time on the blocks but part of it is he doesn’t appear to have a great post up move and shot. He still has work to do but has immense talent. Would appear he could really improve his perception by letting lawal go pro and him having a year on the blocks to himself. Good luck Favors!!!!


February 19th, 2010
3:39 pm

Since we cannot afford to fire Hewitt, I think we should spend more on assistants. I am not in favor of firing him due to his contract.
Though a lot of people want to argue with me about this, I do not think Tech ADs have been any good at hiring coaches for a long time, going all the way back to and including Dodd. Bud Carson, with four Superbowl rings later with the Steelers, knew defense. We should have spent more then on getting a top offensive coordinator.
I’m just thinking matching an offense guy with Hewitt. He does know defense.
That’s is why, though in a different sport, he reminds me of Carson. Carson got the same hostile treatment but got the last laugh with those rings.

Sid Harvey

February 19th, 2010
5:14 pm

A foul is a foul, is a foul, is a foul and that is the way the game should be called. ACC teams say, they must play a few minutes at the start of the game to see how the Refs are going to call, A foul should be the same for a Freshman or a Senior. ACC Refs have more to do with who wins the game than the players. This is a shame.


February 19th, 2010
5:55 pm

I want to add another acc ref, mike wood. He hasn’t given gt a call in over ten years.

Bubba Dodd

February 19th, 2010
7:14 pm

The ref’s are guided by the comissioner, Swafford. They are guided to favor the higher rated team in the conference. Always has been, always will be until criminal charges can be proven.

Double M

February 19th, 2010
8:09 pm

Its not just Favors, its the whole team getting screwed by officials. The Wake game was awful, like the 8 to 6 minute mark to be exact. Things arent gonna change until the zebras lose their day jobs or quit betting. Tech just needs to play better.


February 19th, 2010
11:59 pm

This is a no brainer discussion. ACC officials are genuinely pathetic. It is really not a discussion. Redick the best player in the country a few years ago??? Ask any NBA GM Morrow or Redick yet even Tech fans can’t remember Morrow that well. Redick, then Hansbrough, made a living by shooting 16 or more free throws a game. Redick is the only player in the history of the sport that could knee a defender in the crotch 25 feet out, hoist the ball toward the rim and shoot 3 free throws. Hansbrough would shoot two by flooping around like a caught fish and throwing the ball into the backboard. Part of this is Hewitt has to learn to ride the officials like K, Greenberg, Williams, etc- it (unfortunately) works well for them. I think VTech shot almost 50 free throws Tuesday night agains Wake. Awful.

Big B CH 99

February 20th, 2010
12:39 am

I will start w/ the fact that I’m not objective b/c I HATE all Refs. I think many of them are corrupt and they determine the outcome of close games. I’m a Tech student and I won’t go to the games w/o my Dad so that he can hold me back and keep me from running onto the court to mug the refs.
I do think that Tech is on the short end of the calls b/c Hewitt is too passive, the refs do whatever Coach K wants b/c they’re scared of him, he may try to get them fired.

One of hte hard things is determining whether the refs are corrupt of just plain incompetent, I think both sides will agree that the crew against NC St was incompetent.
Against Duke they were calling it way too tight, get w/in a 6 in radius of someone it was a foul. They destroyed any chance we had in that game w/ both Gani & Favors in foul trouble only 7 minutes into the game.

Want some cheese to go with that...?

February 20th, 2010
1:15 am

And the officiating ‘aint gonna get any better now’ Derrick “dumbass” Favors!


February 20th, 2010
2:50 am

FAVORS is biggest FLOP in basketball.

Conyers Yellow Jacketsu

February 20th, 2010
6:03 am

I cannot agree or disagree with the article or the posts because I don`t watch GT games. I do follow
the GT teams and have been a fan since 1952. I do not watch the games because of the stress
and anxiety issues I have. I get too emotionally upset when they lose.

That being said, I do not believe officiating (ACC or otherwise) is the major reason that a team wins or loses a game. Yes, there are games where one can point to questionable calls as
being a factor in the outcome of a game; however the “bad or no calls” cannot determine the final score. Perceived poor officiating is an excuse factor…nothing else. The fact is that the team which
shoots the best, plays the best defense and is coached the best usually wins.


February 20th, 2010
8:30 am

Derrick “his lousy coaching ain’t doing him any” Favors is more like it. This team that arguably has as many lottery players as UK should not be struggling to stay in the top-25 (or the top-15 for that matter). Botttom line: if CPH doesn’t get this team to the Sweet 16, he needs to be cut loose! Simple as that!


February 20th, 2010
8:32 am

Not to mention they should not be struggling to stay above .500 in a pretty weak ACC!


February 20th, 2010
8:39 am

If you want to expose the ACC refs, someone needs to put together website which has a video clip of each call that goes in Duke’s favor from each of Duke’s games. The site could compare the favorable ref call count for Duke vs. other teams over the course of the season. It would take some work by a couple of people who has the time to watch and analyze a lot of bball games but it would be interesting. Also, the website could expose which ACC ref is the biggest Duke lover by comparing the favorable Duke call count over the course of the season.


February 20th, 2010
9:23 am

Alright, another road game in the ACC. The results are already in, the only question, is how do we lose.

No timeouts in the end when we need one?

Do we miss a free throw to seal the game?

Can’t in bound the ball for our final possession?

Don’t get the final shot off due to a turnover?

I’d say if we shoot 60% from the f/t line, we win…as pathetic as it sounds, we won’t.

GROUND HOG DAY begins at 2:00.

Cherie Cincilla

February 20th, 2010
10:24 am

As a intense GT Hoops follower, I have to agree. The talent this year is outstanding while the game results don’t match. Sure, 18-8 is a solid year, but almost every game comes down to the wire. I think he has to cease the rotations he uses and start playing the top performing players 30 minutes a game, like other teams, using reserves sparingly. No one has truly stepped up because eleven guys are getting only 18-24 minutes a game. Sit Mfon, and give Rice and Oliver 30 minutes each, and go with Miller/Shumpert at point.

All I hear are whiny jackets

February 20th, 2010
10:34 am

Too funny!!! You bunch of whiny girls talk about all of the calls the Blue Devils get in Cameron and how that affected the outcome of the game….face it…your coach blows, your old AD screwed you with his contract, and Favors was maybe just a little too overrated coming in….

Better win today at Maryland, otherwise I guess you can have some additional home games during the NIT.

All I hear are whiny jackets

February 20th, 2010
10:45 am

GT Fan

February 20th, 2010
11:36 am

Fire paul hewitt!!!!!


February 20th, 2010
12:29 pm

Wow “All I hear” that really clears it up- an interview with an acc spokes person. How about a few stats that show duke and unc make more free throws than the rest of the acc attempts. How about Morrow v Redick. Redick was given 10+ plus free throws a game as a jump shooter. Redick doesn’t compare to Morrow in the NBA. Watching VTech Wake was a joke. Wake outplayed them all game but lose because VTech shoots 50 free throws. There is always two games at every acc game- the one that is being played and the one that the refs are watching- a disgrace

The Truth

February 20th, 2010
12:32 pm

Perhaps COACH PH should COACH Derek to start a game with the mindset that he has two fouls. If he’s clean at the 15 minute mark step up the aggression, if one foul or less at the 10 minute mark, step it up again and so forth…just an idea…


February 20th, 2010
12:37 pm

I would say let him play. Why wait until your down 13 on the road? The kid has to learn to play with fouls.

Biff Pocoroba

February 20th, 2010
12:38 pm

Maryland is having to play 4 games in 8 days. I wonder what Hewitt’s excuse will be when he loses today. Against Wake, it was that the team got tired because they had to practice on Thursday. Today it will probably be that there was too much snow in Maryland and it threw them off.


February 20th, 2010
12:52 pm

Biff- glad you joined in. Do you still keep in touch with Rick Camp, Ralph Garr and Brian Asselstine? I agree, PH is too soft and loaded with excuses. Kind of misses that do what it takes to win approach.


February 20th, 2010
1:07 pm

Bottom Line: Hewitt is the WORST game-day coach in division 1 BB. He stinks and the smell must leave.


February 20th, 2010
1:50 pm

Guess one excuse is as good as another!!! Now it’s the officials.


February 20th, 2010
2:21 pm

This team looks so confused on the floor.

Dear Paul Hewitt: LEAVE!

February 20th, 2010
8:28 pm

favors isnt playing well because hewitt has absolutely no idea how to coach reasonable talent. hes a garbage coach and its time to cut all ties with him


February 24th, 2010
2:57 pm

If you want the game officiated like a football game, you should be playing in the SEC