Samir Doughty was involved in the decisive play in Auburn’s national semifinal game against Virginia on the negative side for the Tigers, but showed class in answering repeated questions from the media at his locker following his team’s heartbreaking 63-62 defeat.
The Philadelphia native and Math, Civics and Science Charter School graduate was called for a foul Saturday night against the Cavaliers’ Kyle Guy when Guy was shooting a three-point attempt from the left corner, drawing a loud and long chorus of boos from the Tigers’ section of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Guy made all three free throws with 0.6 seconds to play to give Virginia the win and eliminate the Tigers, who were playing in their first Final Four.
“I felt as though I gave him a chance to land,” Doughty said to one of the waves of reporters who came to his locker after the game. “Obviously I didn’t have my hand up to contest so I’m not really sure how they made that call. But like I said, the refs are going to make the correct call the majority of the time.
“Nothing against the referees out there, they did an incredible job tonight. They missed some calls and they made some calls but, like I said, that’s why they’re reffing the Final Four because they’re the best of the best so you’ve got to trust the decisions that they make on the floor.”
Replays showed that Doughty clipped Guy’s hip as the shot was about to be released, and official James Breeding called the foul.
Doughty, a 6-foot-4 redshirt junior who led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points in the game, continued to say throughout his many interviews that the right call was made.
“They do a great job at reffing and they’re trying to the best of their ability to make the right call,” he said. “I can’t question none of that.
“I watched a lot of film on them. (Guy) and (Ty) Jerome like to kick their legs out when they shoot, so I just tried to be right there, let him shoot the ball and whatever happens, happens. He just hit a three the play before and I played defense the exact same way.
“I’m not really sure why they called that call but I’m pretty sure the refs made the right decision.”
Doughty, who played 40 games in his first season at Auburn following his transfer from VCU, finished the year as the Tigers’ top three-point shooter (42.5 percent) while averaging 7.3 points and 3.5 rebounds.