UNC's Williams says college basketball is 'hand-to-hand combat'
Posted January 11, 2010
Just watch a college basketball game now and you’ll see all the pushing and banging and physical play you need.
And that concerns North Carolina coach Roy Williams.
“There’s no question the game has gotten way too physical,” said Williams Monday. Williams spent six years on the Rules Committee arguing that point. He said “the easiest way” to reduce some of the physical play “is to call more fouls.”
“The game of basketball is supposed to be a finesse game,” Williams said.
Williams prefers that style, with an up and down tempo, to the current style and said today’s game is much different than 20 years ago.
“It’s hand-to-hand combat now,” he said. “It wasn’t anything like that at that point.”
Williams said the changes have happened over time, with no one time when it all changed.
“It’s been a gradual thing. It’s like palming the ball,” he said. “Twenty, 25 years ago people didn’t do it and people got more lax and more lax and more lax. You can’t get it back now.”
Maryland coach Gary Williams, a former guard for the Terps, said the game is “180 degrees” different from when he played.
“We thought we were really physical and I’ve seen some old film when I played,” he said. “We weren’t very physical and we were all skinny.”
But how do you change that? The Terps’ Williams isn’t sure.
“Players are bigger, quicker,” he said. “It’s a very difficult sport to referee now because of that. I don’t know what you do, to tell you the truth. If you called every foul it wouldn’t be a good game, either.
“In basketball, there are some rewards for teams that are physical, there’s no doubt about it. But I don’t know what you do about it, unless you make the court bigger.”