Maybe not a mistake exactly, but a confused moment. I’ve been covering basketball for more than 30 years and I’m not clear on the rules either sometimes. So I can totally understand what Watson went through on Saturday late in the game against Kentucky Wesleyan, especially in the midst of three technical fouls being called on the KWC bench.
Anyway, Watson admitted he wasn’t clear on how the various free throws were to be shot. The play that set off KWC coach Happy Osborne was a foul on KWC player Donovan Johnson, who was guarding Rutledge near the KWC sideline on the press. Rutledge then went to the free-throw line to shoot the double bonus. Or that’s what Watson thought was about to happen. “I thought he’d shoot the foul first,” said the coach. But Rutledge shot the six technical foul shots first. It was an unnecessarily pressurized situation for a player who was in his first game of the season after sitting out the first semester on academic suspension. Watson said he wouldn’t have had him shoot. “Manny (Ogunfolu) had made four in a row (actually eight in a row), so I would have put him at the line,” said Watson. But when Watson discovered that Rutledge was shooting the technicals first, it was too late. “He (Rutledge) is a really good shooter who shot over 70 percent from the line for us last year, but it was his first game back,” said Watson. “I should have done a better job of knowing the situation.”
An ironic side note: Watson did get his chance to send Ogunfolu to the foul line to shoot a pair of technical foul free throws at the very end of the game, when KWC’s Lonnie Hayes was whistled for a tech. Ogunfolu then proceeded to miss them both — his only missed free throws in the game.