Just this weekend, Missouri coach Frank Haith was ejected from a game against the Netherlands, after which, fearing for the safety of his players, he took the Tigers off the court and ended one of their foreign exhibition tour events early.
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber didn’t quite go that far -- his team finished the game, at least -- but from the sounds of it, he may have been warranted in following in Haith’s footsteps. Weber was ejected in the fourth quarter of a 74–72 loss to Tijuca Club, a professional squad in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The officiating was inconsistent, Weber said in a statement, and five Kansas State players fouled out on the night:
“It was tough, hard-fought loss tonight,” Weber said in the news release provided by K-State. “It was a foul-plagued game with lots of technicals and double-fouls. I have been on many international trips and you never know what type of officials you are going to get in these games, and FIBA rules are pretty different. They let us play pretty physical in our first three games, and tonight we had five guys foul out, but give our kids credit for coming back.”
On Monday night, associate head coach Chris Lowery tweeted:
“Never been in a game where I was fearful that my players would get hurt.”
It’s hardly a surprise these games can turn ugly, though. These are pros in other countries playing amateurs from the United States; pride surely comes into play. Hard fouls and technicals are part of the cost of playing overseas, with wildly inconsistent officiating and different rules. Really, is it any wonder things occasionally get out of control? Come to think of it, maybe it’s a surprise things don’t get out of hand -- Georgetown-China-style -- more often.