FAU and basketball’s unwritten rules

FAU and basketball's unwritten rules
FAU’s Alijah Martin attempted a late-game dunk in the Round of 32, violating an unwritten rule. Photo Credit: Adam Cairns/USA Today Network

The ending of the Round of 32 matchup between Fairleigh Dickinson and Florida Atlantic was controversial, as FAU’s Alijah Martin attempted a 360 dunk up eight with less than ten seconds remaining, violating one of the unwritten rules of basketball. The crowd responded with a chorus of boos.

We’ve seen scuffles and brawls at the professional level because players decide to add an extra flair to a decisive victory. Earlier this season, benches cleared in a Suns-Pelicans game after Zion Williamson did a 360 dunk up nine with three seconds remaining.

Specifically, in the case of Florida Atlantic, a heavily adored underdog who had just won their first tournament game turned into villains overnight by a lack of sportsmanship to their historic 16-seed opponent. Many fans aren’t keen on the several unwritten rules in the game, so we decided to look at some other “rules” prominent today.

Late-Game Statpad

This unwritten rule was first popularized by Ricky Davis back in 2003. Davis intentionally threw the ball at his basket to record his triple-double, clinching the tenth rebound of the contest. Davis was fouled hard by DeShawn Stevenson after the rebound attempt and chastised by opposing players and coaches. And worst of all, the rebound didn’t even count.

Just a few weeks ago, Giannis Antetokounmpo did the same thing but to a much more jovial reaction. The rebound for Antetokounmpo even counted initially but was ultimately taken away by statisticians.

Transition Take Fouls

This is an example of a rule that changed from an unwritten rule to one that rule changes have targeted. Before last season, the transition takes foul would stop a fastbreak and create a half-court possession. This would seemingly penalize the defense for creating a turnover. As of this year, taking fouls now result in the offense getting a one-shot free throw attempt and maintaining possession of the ball.

Do you support these unwritten rules? Do you think they’ll ever phase out of basketball?

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