NCAA rules committee chairman, Rick Byrd, told ESPN.com that the men’s college game is likely going to establish a 30-second shot clock — a change from the 35-second clock that we’ve been used to for years.
This is definitely a big step for college hoops, so I’m happy about that, but there’s way more to be done.
The 35-second shot clock was clearly outdated and needed to be changed, but why not just go straight to 24 seconds like the NBA? Many of the college rules hinder these great athletes and make them play slowed down games that often score in the 50s. It’s just annoying to watch. When a team pounds the ball for 30 seconds and then settles for a poor shot at the end, what’s the point? Might as well make it a 24-second clock and get the game moving. If teams end up with a bad shot … well, it already happens all the time with a 35-second clock.
I guess the NIT, CBI and CIT tournaments all used 30-second clocks for the postseason, so there’s a sample for the committee to review. Most of us were busy watching the NCAA tournament during this time, so the experiment didn’t really make much noise. I was, however, keeping up with my URI Rams in the NIT tournament and can tell you that I didn’t even notice the change … just more of a reason to go right to 24 seconds.
Byrd also suggested a couple other changes that we may see down the line that could be great for college hoops. The first would be moving the block/charge line from three feet to four feet so that it will be like the NBA, and the second (and probably more important) would be discussing the use of replays and timeouts. As exciting as watching March Madness can be, you know how long the end of some of those games can take.
The replays wouldn’t make the game much longer. The idea would be only to review made baskets when the shot clock is expiring and just play-on for the misses. The timeout rules could be crucial for pace of play, though. Essentially, the men would just copy the women and make it so that if timeout is called within 30 seconds of the media timeout, then that timeout will be counted as the TV timeout.
There are also discussions about widening the lane and pushing back the 3-point line to create more space like in the NBA. And although that won’t be happening this upcoming season, it hasn’t been ruled out for the future.
In the end, I really believe that we just want to see the college game played like the NBA game. A fast pace of play where the players, not the coaches, are the stars and are free to display their athleticism. Maybe eventually we will get there, but here’s a start.
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