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Malcolm Delaney frustrated by lack of foul calls

Malcolm Delaney has been at the center of much of the discussion lately for Virginia Tech, but not because of his dynamic scoring ability. Instead, the discussion has been about whether Delaney has been acting in order to get fouls calls.

But since Delaney scored 20 of his 30 points in a win over Clemson on Feb. 6, he has made 13 combined trips to the free-throw line in the past two games. Delaney said officials have told him to "stop flopping" and indicated that the lack of calls he is now receiving is starting to frustrate him.

In a 61-55 win over Virginia on Saturday, Delaney made 4 of 6 attempts from the free-throw line, and 4 of those attempts came with the Cavaliers fouling in the final 30 seconds. Delaney's 13 points matched his lowest output in an Atlantic Coast Conference game this season.

“That’s hard,“ he said after the game against the Cavaliers. “You can’t play. I couldn’t play. I don’t know. I can’t really talk about it because I can’t criticize people. But I couldn’t play my game. I’ve just got to look past it. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be like that every game. But like I said, that’s unfair.“

Since making all those trips to the free-throw line against Clemson, Delaney has stated publicly that he has embellished contact in order to bring light to those fouls; he said he does not act for the sake of acting, but only to draw attention to the contact he is receiving.

Delaney attacks ball screens, often in the hope of drawing contact from defenders who hedge out to defend him. He was able to do that with success against Clemson, which defended aggressively and tried to block shots, but did not have as much success drawing fouls in a win over the more defensively passive North Carolina State on Feb. 10.

Virginia did not attack Delaney as much as Clemson did, retreating more in an apparent to take away his ability to draw contact. Delaney entered the game averaging 11.1 free-throw attempts in conference play and was scoring 42.7 percent of his ACC-leading 22.1 points per game from the line.

There are variables in determining whether Delaney is actually being called differently, now that officials are more aware of his sometimes-theatrical way of drawing fouls. Delaney has not been to the line as often since the Clemson game, but teams have also defended him differently. It is clear, however, that Delaney has grown frustrated with how he perceives he is being treated by officials.

"Crazy how shootin 20 fts can change a lot around," Delaney wrote on his Twitter page Saturday after the Virginia game. "Its cool tho. As long as we win I'm good. But somebody gone get it."

By Mark Viera  |  February 15, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
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The pettiness that ACC officials can show at times really is sad. When watching the VT-UVA game a couple of nights ago, there were at least 5 occasions where Delaney was clearly fouled and yet no call was made. One one of them, a drive to the basket in the 2nd half where he pulled up for about a 6-foot short jumper in the lane, he was bumped no less than three times, and still no whistle.

Posted by: danram | February 15, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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