This is correct, no one said it was fine or a desirable outcome.
I think you'll find a common trend/denominator in these games where we fouled more than others.
In our losses when Mike had 2 1st half fouls:
5 of these teams went to the NCAA Tournament, and were better than us throughout the year. Iowa, when we played them, were better than us and trending in the right direction, as our young guys pretty much hit the wall. Indiana was 12-6 and still healthy when they came to see us in Happy Valley and Watkins got 2 1st half fouls. Had they not lost Anunoby, Blackmon, they very well could've made the tourney too.
IMO, there is more likely a correlation to "good teams forcing players out for foul trouble" than "1st half foul trouble costing a team a game." Maybe a similar thing for Reaves/Stevens can be done as well. It just seems awfully convenient to me that Watkins had 1st half foul trouble against some of the best teams in the conference, and against some of the best bigs like Happ, Hayes, Swanigan, Haas, Lynch, Ward, Bryant.
FWIW - Minutes played per game in these losses - 22.3 (1 minute lower than season average)
Northwestern - 24
Indiana - 13
@ Purdue - 17 (blown out)
@ Wisconsin - 23 (2nd half blow out)
Purdue - 29
@ Minnesota - 16 (blown out)
@ Iowa - 30 (blown out)
@ Michigan State - 27 (blown out)
One weird thing is IU/Purdue/Wisconsin happened B2B2B, it's only interesting to note in that I think this was around the time he was also sick. Perhaps that impacted performance. Unless someone wants to argue in some of these blow outs that Mike's 1st half foul trouble was the reason we lost, I'm all ears. I actually don't think his 1st half foul trouble swung any of these games in the wrong direction.
Unless of course your point is, "we're fouling too much in the 1st half, look at Reaves/Stevens/Watkins," then maybe there is something there, but despite being 11th in defensive free throw rate in conference play, we were 1% behind Maryland in 7th. The margin is tight there, and we were 76th nationally. I just don't think this is that big of a deal for us.