An obvious shot clock violation should have caused the Kentucky Wildcats to lose against Vanderbilt on Thursday night. The best part of the play, though, is the fact that announcer Bobby Knight couldn’t decipher the difference between the shot clock and the game clock.
A typical college clock consists of the game time on the top, with the shot clock time on the bottom; it really isn’t that complicated. For a guy that set records at Indiana and Texas Tech and is now an ESPN analyst, you’d think that he would know how the game clock and shot clock functions, but he just became extremely confused instead.
Listen to the commentary between Knight and Rece Davis at the 1:04 mark to catch the confusion.
Knight: “That 17.3 was up there and the zero was on the bottom. I don’t know what that meant.”
Davis: “The zero was the shot clock.
Knight: “What was the 17.3?”
Davis: “Game clock. What was remaining in the half.”
It’s one thing if you forget or mispronounce someone’s name, but not knowing the basics of the sport is just uncalled for on national television. I really have no idea why Knight was so confused – all of the clocks are the same, and have been for years now.
Regardless of the announcer’s confusion, the referees clearly failed to accurately call the shot clock violation, and it cost Vanderbilt the game. Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings definitely had a reason to complain about the call. If they would have made the call correctly, Vanderbilt would have gained possession and could have easily tied it up, rather than be down by two with only seconds remaining.
This call is one that the NCAA needs to reconsider. Currently, only shots that occur as the game clock expires can be reviewed. This video clearly represents that it is not just the last shot of the game that matters; anything within the last 30-seconds, or even the last minute, should be reviewed if the game is tied or within a close margin.