On his weekly radio show earlier this evening, Tom Crean was asked about the intentional foul that was called against Derek Elston in Sunday’s game at Northwestern for tripping Alex Marcotullio.
Our friend and Herald-Times beat reporter Dustin Dopirak was in attendance for the radio show and transcribed Crean’s comments on the foul:
“I didn’t get a good look at it during the game at all. I didn’t see it until it was on the film. I brought him up to the plane. He stayed with the same thing. He said to me that he didn’t do it intentionally. I know exactly what it looks like. I told him the same thing. When I looked at it the referee had a good view of it. I didn’t argue it. In comparison to (Devan Dumes’s intentional foul two years ago) I don’t think there is any comparison because there’s no question that that was intentional. I wasn’t surprised by it. In this situation, it would be highly out of character for Derek to be dishonest or do something of that nature in a negative way. It would be truly out of character, and if he did it would be a mistake. That’s the end of story. We got the intentional foul, they got the foul shots. I looked at it. I discussed it with him. But the last thing I’m going to do is break down a trust by accusing a player of something that he says he didn’t do on purpose. I’m not trying to put my head in the sand, that’s just the way that it is. Again, it would be different if it was something that was after the fact that you see on film. Those are the things that you react a little bit more to. The referee saw it, the referee handled it.”
If you haven’t had a chance to see the play in question, here’s a link.
I wrote last night in The Minute After after watching the replay a couple of times that I believed that Elston stuck his foot out on purpose and the trip was a cheap move by Elston. I’m sticking to that analysis.