Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean had a run-in with his own fans on Wednesday night.
A fan threw a stuffed animal onto the court as Mississippi State’ Quinndary Weatherspoon was shooting a free throw in the closing second of a tight game. Georgia was assessed a technical, allowing Weatherspoon another free throw in a 68-67 victory.
Crean went to the public address microphone to admonish fans, but it was too late. He also asked the fans to “stay with us.”
After the game, Crean said assessing a technical without first issuing a warning “perplexed” him.
With 0.5 seconds to play in a tie game, a fan tossed a stuffed animal onto the court in Georgia.
The Bulldogs were assessed a technical foul. Mississippi St made the FT, and won the game. Wow ? pic.twitter.com/7PNheymQrp
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 21, 2019
“I’ve never seen that, not without a warning, and certainly not without an explanation,” Crean said. “The rule says you’ve got to be able to know who did it.”
Crean didn’t want to say the incident decided the game.
“It’s the whole woulda coulda shoulda, but you miss the first, maybe you miss the second and go into overtime, but we’re never going to know,” he said.
In Crean’s first season in taking over from Mark Fox, Georgia is 10-16 overall and 1-12 in the SEC. It has lost seven straight games, prompting Crean to seemingly take a swipe at his players and himself last week.
“I’m the one who decided to keep these guys,” he said after a loss to Mississippi. “It doesn’t mean that they are not great kids, but very few programs when there’s a takeover, when you have guys that haven’t done it at any point in time really in their career, a lot of those guys, they move on. That’s what happens in a job change. And I didn’t do that. So I’m not going to complain. We’ve just got to keep doing everything we can do to fix it and make it better.”
This episode comes one night after the fans of his former team went hard after Purdue’s Matt Haarms in a rivalry matchup.
Image: Georgia coach Tom Crean leaves the court after the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State in Athens, Ga., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.