USM 67, JSU 51: basketball amid 61 fouls
HATTIESBURG — Jackson State and Southern Miss renewed their basketball rivalry here Friday night. Southern Miss prevailed 67-51.
But the real winners were the officials, who dominated the game with quick whistles.
And the losers were the fans, nearly 5,000 of them, who never saw more than 45 seconds of basketball without a whistle.
It’s not the officials’ fault. They simply enforced the new “no touch” rule. The powers-that-be want a more offensive, more free-flowing, less physical game. They aren’t getting that — at least not yet.
There are 40 minutes in a regulation college basketball game. Sixty-one fouls were whistled in this one. You do the math. That’s more than 1.5 fouls per minute, and that’s too many. JSU had four players foul out and two more with four fouls. USM had two players disqualified and two more with four fouls.
“I’m proud of our fans, especially our students; we’re building a great fan base,” Donnie Tyndall said “But I’m not sure I would want come watch two and a half hours of guys shooting free throws. And we’re talking about two teams that were playing zone defense for the most part.
“I don’t know how those tough, physical, man-to-man teams, like Michigan State and Duke, are going to do it.”
Jackson State’s Wayne Brent echoed Tyndall.
“It’s different, that’s for sure,” Brent said. “I am going to have to adjust the way I coach and our players are going to have to adjust to the way the game is being called. I coach physical basketball and it’s really tough to be physical and not use your hands.”
The Tigers, a young team, played USM on even terms for 32 minutes. USM took control over the last eight minutes.
“Jackson State is a very good basketball team,” Tyndall said. “I was very impressed. They play hard and they play physical. Wayne Brent is going to do a great job.
Brent on USM: “They did what they were supposed to do. They are an experienced team. They had four starters back and they showed why they won 27 games last season. They made plays and made shots when the game was on the line. I think in a lot of cases we had 18- and 19-year-olds going against their 21- and 22-year-olds. That showed down the stretch.”
Jackson State plays host to Arkansas State Monday night. USM plays the first of three straight road games at DePaul Wednesday night.