I’ve seen him called many things: slaw, trash, whiner, but above all, Vanderbilt’s Scottie Pippen Jr. is known as the Flop God.
Your eyes don’t deceive you: Scottie Pippen flops a lot. He led the nation in free throw attempts by a wide margin — over 10% more than anyone else in the country — hitting the deck and the stripe almost 8 times per game, every game: 299 attempts in 2022, which is almost double last season’s floptacular 167 FTA. By contrast, Pippen only attempted 341 field goals all season.
That’s remarkably impressive for a 6’1” guard.
It’s not just Pippen though; Vanderbilt is notorious for it. Let’s run this by you. In 2021, Vanderbilt led the SEC in FT rate — drawing a shooting foul on 34.87% of their possessions. Last season, it was even worse — the ‘Dores kissed the parquet, getting to the line on 39.12% of their possessions, and VU were 18th in the nation in FTA, at 21.5 per game.
And the more success Vandy had, the more that Vandy did it.
Remember that little hot streak VU went on down the stretch last season, when it looked like everyone in a black and gold uniform was being taken out with a deer rifle? The numbers were even worse than you remember.
Scottie Pippen Jr. being put down at midcourt.
Here is the percentage of plays that resulted in a FT shooting opportunity for Vanderbilt: Kentucky 44.2%, Missouri 77.8%, Auburn 57.1%, Texas A&M 54.7%, Alabama 67.9%, Alabama (SECT) 84.9%. In 24 of Vanderbilt’s 36 contests, they exceeded the National NCAA rate (31%). And, astonishingly, in 10 games they were over (and often well over) 50%. Overall, Vanderbilt was 11th in the nation in free throws per attempted field goal: 38.7%.
This is not just to pick on Pippen — though he is trash, slaw, and a Flop God. Nor is this to blame Stackhouse for it: Vanderbilt is a middling team overall and a poor offensive one. Like all cagey pros, you take what the officials will give you and manufacture points. Hell, it got them to the NIT this season. No, rather this is to illustrate that despite coaches’ pleas to crack down on flopping’s most egregious offenders, practically nothing has been done about it. That is especially problematic in a league like the SEC and Big 12, which are widely considered to have the worst officiating in college basketball.
This was an actual foul called on Kentucky, after Flop God gave him a forearm shiver.
Alas, Pippen may have chosen the wrong year to opt-back into the college game. This year, the NCAA appears to be serious about taking up a flopping rule with some teeth.
Last season, the Rules Committee attempted a similar change, but there were concerns that not giving a player warnings before issuing a technical was overly punitive. Of course, substantial damage can be done with just one egregious flop, so teams took their chances, and overall they prospered.
But, after another year of watching Flop God (and others) breakdance in the post with a sideways glance, the Oversight Committee is now on board in removing the warning and just flat out T-ing guys up for their Oscar-winning performances.
If a player is called for flopping, the opposing team would shoot one free throw.
Currently, the definition of flopping in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Book is:
Faking being fouled (flopping) on block/charge plays, on attempted tries on field goal attempts or using any other tactics such as a “head bob,” which might incorrectly lead an official to believe that a foul has been committed.
So, no warning; making it a point of emphasis; and actually having in-game ramifications: that’s something we can all get behind...assuming some the game’s worst officiating crews will actually call it.
We’ll know June 9th whether the Harden-esque histrionics are going to start being penalized. Though I suspect it will be deep into next February or so, before we see if this actually has teeth — assuming it’s even passed.
Scottie Pippen Jr.
A much-maligned player who’s just giving it his all