This past college basketball season drew the ire of fans and commentators alike about its style of play. While this conversation has been trending for a few years, it appears to have reached a tipping point with the NCAA competition committee.
College basketball was definitely tough to watch at times, as constant timeouts, teams dragging out the 35-second shot clock, stale offensive strategies, and constant breaks in play made the game less entertaining to watch. Recently the NCAA made strides to begin chipping away at these issues.
As reported by Nicole Auerbach of USA TODAY, the NCAA is proposing a change to the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds. This may seem like a minor change, but people around the game seem to have strong opinions on this matter.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla has seen a lot of international basketball and says shortening the shot clock will drastically change the game. He believes this will force coaches to get more creative offensively, "Seventy percent of the coaches are essentially running the same type of offenses. It not only becomes boring, but it becomes easy to defend. I think the lower clock will force coaches to take stock of what they're doing offensively. Play faster. Play with more ball movement. Play a more team-oriented style."
Iona coach Tim Cluess thinks it won't fix the issues of college basketball, and does not believe teams will change much due to a 5-second difference, "I think it can go two ways. Some teams will play a little bit faster, but I think teams that don't play fast are not going to change because of five seconds, which is OK. The biggest thing is it's going to be an advantage for the defense because the defense won't have to play as long. I don't know if it's going to really, really change much. It might change scoring a little bit, but I don't think it will change the style of play."
The second proposed change involves the charge circle. To modernize college basketball and catch up to the NBA, the NCAA is moving their charge circle up from 3 feet to 4 feet from the hoop. The point of moving the charge circle out is to avoid low-post collisions and open up the game.
The third proposed rule affects time-outs. The committee proposed a change of five timeouts to four, with no more than three carrying over from the first half to the second half. Also, any timeout called 30 seconds or less before a media timeout is considered a media timeout.
The committee also wants quicker resumption after timeouts and player ejections, and proposes disallowing timeouts in live-ball situations with the goal of allowing the game flow better.
There were a few other proposals, such as: lifting the pre-game dunk technical foul, giving power to officials to penalize players that flop, and also giving the officials an opportunity to review shot clock violations on made field goals, at any period throughout the game.
The proposed rule changes will go to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight panel, which will meet on June 8th to decide which rules will pass.
The committee also proposed some new rules for the women's game.
As reported by John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant, the main rule is the change from two halves to four quarters. The other minor rules will affect when a bonus free throw is awarded, how and when media will be allocated, and the ability for a team to advance the ball with a timeout during the last minute of the game. In addition, the committee is asking for defenders to be allowed to place a forearm on an offensive player with their back to the basket.
The last rule change is that a team will not receive a fresh 10-second count when a throw-in is deflected by the defense. Geno Auriemma seemed pleased about the new rules when he spoke to the Hartford Courant "What a great step forward for our game, As the game becomes more global, it's important we start the process toward standardizing the rules."
These rules should make both the men's and women's game more interesting to watch going forward, at least that's the goal. It will be interesting to track differences in pace and scoring as a result of these changes.