The College Basketball ‘Goon Squad’

by Nick Jaroszewicz

What is a goon? In 2005 John Cheney, then the coach of the Temple University basketball team,  sent in “seldom used” forward Nehemiah Ingram in order to give hard fouls and send a message. While Ingram is long gone, are there still players like him? What players pick up quick fouls in bunches, and what if they actually played starter minutes?

To investigate, I took all players in the “Big 6” basketball conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC), and found a small group of players that may qualify as “goons”.

That being said, I don’t mean to say that these people are bad guys. I am just saying that when on the court, they pick up a large amount of fouls in little time and are big guys. We took their current fouls per minute rate and looked at what would happen if they played 33 minutes, which in college basketball was what the 90th percentile of players played. So, without further ado, the “goon squad”:

Interestingly enough, 6 of the 9 players are from the Big East, known to be the most physical conference in College Basketball. Robertson Jr. is actually the only one of these players who has fouled out of games, fouling out twice in 10 and 11 minutes. Giplaye has a lot of fouls as well, reaching 4 fouls twice in 10 and 16 minutes. Geramipoor fouled out once in 12 minutes and twice reached 4 fouls in 10 minutes of game action. So, while they may not be “goons”, they seem to be very slow for the college game, or always ready to give a foul.

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