If you didn’t hear, Maryland’s final visit to Duke as an ACC program included an admission of error by game officials. Via Prewitt:
In a statement provided Sunday night, ACC senior associate commissioner of men’s basketball operations Karl Hicks acknowledged that an “administrative error” was made concerning a series of held balls in the Maryland-Duke game on Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
This “administrative error” gave Duke possession when it should have been Maryland’s ball late in the second half. The Blue Devils scored on that possession. They ended up winning by two points.
Terps Coach Mark Turgeon has taken the highest of high roads in discussing this screw-up, but many Maryland fans were less forgiving. And then there’s Gary Williams, who was discussing the game on ESPN 980’s “Sports Fix” on Tuesday afternoon.
“You know, there’s been times down at Duke over the years – not just when we played – but when funny things happened at the scorer’s table,” Williams told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro.
Williams appeared to be referring both to the jump ball situation and to a later incident when officials missed a Duke shot-clock violation before eventually correcting the ruling via replay. So Williams was asked whether he believed the jump-ball foul-up was an innocent mistake.
“Uh, it can be,” he said. “I’ve seen it. I wasn’t there. I don’t know. But I know one thing: I would have been very upset after the game, because that was a big play in that game.”
Williams was also asked if he did anything to guard against such mistakes.
“I always had a guy taking care of fouls, because you didn’t always trust the scorer’s table,” Williams said, speaking of all games, not just at Duke. “He wanted to know how many team fouls, whether it was a guy’s second or third foul, [which] is really big in the first half. And then the arrows become a thing you’ve got to keep track of, because you want the team to know when you have the arrow. … That arrow thing is really big on your bench, and so usually an assistant coach keeps track of those things and keeps reminding the head coach of the situation.”
And, awesomely, Williams also talked about Duke’s rims, when discussing Charles Mitchell’s last-second attempt that rimmed out.
“Those rims at Duke, going back to the ’60s, they’re as loose as you’ll find in the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Williams said. “And for Mitchell’s shot not to go in, I just couldn’t believe that shot didn’t go in to win the game.”
As for his assessment of the game, “I thought Maryland outplayed them,” Williams said. “Once again, I’m not being biased on that. I just think that the way Maryland played in the second half, they were the better team on the court.”