Is Malcolm Delaney 'flopping' on foul calls?
Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney has been getting to the free throw line with regularity. He does a great job drawing contact on defenders -- and embellishing that contact, his teammates say.
"Once you set the screen on someone, most of the time they’re going to try to put their elbow up, and once they touch him, he does a good job of flopping," Hokies guard Dorenzo Hudson said. "He does a real good job of getting contact and getting to the free throw line."
Delaney, a heady and gutsy player, said after the Clemson game that he has tried to draw contact off defenders when their tendency is to try to block shots. But when Delaney draws fouls, he can often put on a demonstrative display.
How much of that is legitimate or an act to get a call? We may never know.
Hudson said Delaney, who was not available to reporters this week, has often been able to get calls later in games because of his emotive manner after being contacted early on.
"I think that’s more of the acting thing," Hudson said of Delaney's embellishment of fouls early in games. "The next time on the court, they’ll probably end up calling the foul."
Of the ACC's top 10 free throw shooters by percentage, Delaney (172 attempts) has almost 50 more trips to the line than the next closest on that list, Duke guard Jon Scheyer (129 attempts). In a win over Clemson on Saturday, Delaney had 20 of his 30 points from the charity stripe, which matched a school record for free throws made in a game.
Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said Delaney has simply been smart attacking defenders, noticing a weakness and exploiting it. "If people are going to blitz him," Greenberg said, "he's going to attack them."
For freshman guard Erick Green, though, it is entertainment. While watching from the bench, Green said he has noticed Delaney's array of reactions to fouls. Delaney will yell and throw his hands up, or grimace and throw his neck back while making contact with an opposing player.
"I kind of laugh half the time; I find it funny," Green said. "He does a good job. He gets to the line I don't know how many times a game. It's crazy how he can draw a foul easily. His facial expressions, I just kind of laugh."
But is it all just an act?
"Maybe sometimes he does get bumped," Green said. "I'm not out there; I can’t really tell. I’m just like, Man, he’s good at it. He gets easy points, so he can’t be bad at it."
February 9, 2010; 9:50 AM ET
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