Thursday, June 11, 2015

College basketball rules changes better than short shot clock

Several rules for the upcoming college basketball season have been changed and much of the analytical emphasis has been on the reduction of the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30 seconds. Some coaches prefer the track-meet, race-horse, fast-break style of play and would like to see the shot clock match the NBA’s 24-second clock. There’s a desire to increase scoring. By reducing the shot clock, possessions and scoring opportunities should increase, but it’s all nominal. In addition to more possessions and shots, the players still have to put the ball through the basket. It’ll be interesting to see if the game is awakened from a deliberate style through shorter possession time.

It’s the other changes to the rules which are of interest to me. For instance, the closely guarded 5-second violation is eliminated when the ball is being dribbled. That rule should have been banished long ago. A dribbled ball is a ball in action. This should result in less pressure, one-on-one defense on the ball which will result in more one-on-one play toward the basket with more shots off the dribble and therefore more scoring chances. If you can find footage in the 1970s of NC State’s David Thompson, you’ll see why he averaged more the 26 points a game. He had an accurate shot but he also had room to maneuver toward the basket.

Other rule changes: 
  • Coaches cannot call a timeout when the ball is live. This doesn’t prevent a player from calling a timeout. The coach will have to relay the desire to the players to call a timeout, but the coach cannot stop play just by getting the attention of the referee. 
  • The restricted-area under the basket is expanded from 3 feet to 4 feet which should prevent those under-the-basket charging calls, increasing offense and scoring chances. 
  • A timeout called within 30-seconds of the media timeout into a full media timeout, stopping the coach from calling a 30-second timeout back-to-back with a media timeout to give his players an extended rest.

For the fans, dunking will be allowed during pregame and halftime warm-ups, but my guess is that coaches will not allow so much of that to prevent injuries during warm-ups. And, in non-NCAA post-season tournament games (NIT, etc.), players will be allowed six fouls instead of five before being disqualified from the game. This idea is not new. Norm Sloan asked for it in the 1970s. Actually, he suggested unlimited fouls without being disqualified at all. He suggested that fouls by a player after the fifth result in additional free throws. And, he reasoned that the fans had paid good money to see the games, especially to see players such as David Thompson, and by sending them to the bench, the fans were being penalized.
-------------------- word of the day
’sblood (interjection) [zbluhd] a euphemistic shortening of God’s blood, used as an oath

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