TMA: Fouls and Free Throws

February, 26, 2012
2/26/12
8:15
AM ET
The Morning After: Thoughts, notes and anything else that didn’t quite make this space after North Carolina’s latest game (in this case, No. 7 UNC's 54-51 victory at Virginia on Saturday).

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- North Carolina big men Tyler Zeller and John Henson were pretty much in agreement on how they held Virginia forward Mike Scott to a ACC season-low six points on Saturday: foul trouble.

The one that stands out the most is his fourth.

Official Dwayne Gladden whistled Scott with about 12 minutes left when both big men were trying to rebound UNC forward James Michael McAdoo’s missed shot. There was a lot of debate -- especially from the booing crowd --about how much contact was made.

In case you missed it in Anna Katherine Clemmons’ story, here’s what various participants had to say about it, beginning with the foul-ee:
“Oh yeah, I was hit, right there, you know you can go back to the tape or whatever, but it's kind of one of those things where I knew Scott would be going after the ball and he kind of elbow-checked me out there and so, you know, they called the foul,” Henson said.

And maybe he gave it a bit of an acting job? “I might've given a little motion,” Henson said with a smile.

Scott didn't feel quite as positive when asked about the play. “I thought I boxed him out, so ...” Scott said. When asked if Henson might've given the play an acting job, Scott added, “I guess I was a little bit too aggressive … I didn't know I was that strong.”

Scott said when the whistle blew, he initially wasn't sure what the call was and thought that maybe he'd stepped out of bounds [rather than been called for a foul]. Still, overall, he said of his day's performance, “I kind of took myself out of the game by getting into foul trouble.”

UNC coach Roy Williams didn't think there was any question over the call, describing it in the postgame press conference: “He [Henson] whipped back because there was an elbow in his face. They went back and looked at it because they were trying to decide if it was something else. I don’t think that John’s that good of an actor, and his face doesn’t run into too many elbows. I’m not saying it was flagrant or anything, but it was a foul. And I don’t think there’s anything to drawing a foul there; you don’t want to draw a foul with your face in somebody’s elbow. That’s not very pleasant.”
MAKING THE FREE ONES: Henson, by the way, was 7-for-8 from the free throw line, and is now 16-for-21 in his last six games. Not bad for a guy who is 59-for 118 (.500) for the season.

“John’s free throws, those were huge for us, to say the least,’’ Williams said.

GETTING CLOSER: Tar Heels point guard Kendall Marshall finished with six assists, meaning he needs four more to break Ed Cota’s UNC season record.

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.

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