College basketball rules that (don’t) need to change

Sparty & Friends listed five rules in college basketball that need to change. I don’t have a problem with #2 (6-fouls to disqualification) or #3 (no passing the ball in the half court on out of bounds plays), so let’s focus on the other three:

1. Change to 48 minute games, divided up in quarters, with a 24 second shot clock – At first I wasn’t sure about this one, as most will usually complain that most sporting events are already too long in the first place. However, I reconsidered based on what my second rule change should be. An additional 8 minutes will not significantly impact the length of the game, especially if they were to eliminate stoppage timeouts every 4 minutes of playing time. They will have the two extra tv timeouts at the end of the quarters, which would help alleviate the advertising concern. A need for a 24 second clock would be needed to force teams to not milk the clock anymore than they already do. The cons of this would put teams with lack of depth, especially smaller schools in the tournament, at a disadvantage. To that I say tough noogies.

I object more to the 24-second shot clock than the four quarters idea, but I’d rather not see any of this happen. First, going to a 24-shot clock would only serve to make teams depend even more on the good ol’ on-ball screen that is already so prevalent in college hoops. In the NBA, the short shot clock leads to a lot of bad attempts — can you imagine what would happen in college with players that aren’t nearly as good? No, the 35-second shot clock is just fine. It allows offenses and plays to develop and generally results in good attempts. Plus, it rewards the best defenses that are able to defend for that duration.

As for the 48-minute game idea, NBA games are already a grind, let’s not bring that grind to the college level. The nice thing about 20-minute halves is that there’s a good flow. Even with TV timeouts every four minutes, a typical college game lasts 2-2.5 hours. Let’s not drag it out to 2.5-3.0 like the NBA.

4. Institute the Jump Ball on tie-ups – No-brainer on this one. If it is a tie for a loose ball, then have the tie-breaker be the jump ball. Don’t call it a jump ball, then don’t have a jump ball. If there is one thing that Dickie V yells about each game, this is the one we all agree with him on.

I like the alternating possession because it keeps the flow of the game going. The refs don’t spend two minutes getting everyone lined up for a jump ball, which is a pretty arbitrary way to decide possession anyway. Vitale doesn’t like the alternating possession because it (sometimes) doesn’t reward the defense when they make a good play, but they will get the next one. Better yet, why not give all tie-ups to the defense?

5. Institute the NBA 3-point line- Pop Warner, middle school, high school, college and the NFL all play on fields with the exact same dimensions. Why is this different in basketball? Sure, the court is the same size, but the dimensions for a 3-point FG are different, which changes how teams play. The shorter 3 point line has been an equalizer for teams that cannot play well in the paint, and it has become an equalizer in the tournament. Why reward a team that is deficient in one area by improving their chances in another? The deeper 3 point line will also allow for more spacing on the floor, and more interior play to be developed. The dribble-drive is almost non-existent in college basketball, because the half court has been made smaller by a shorter 3 point shot.

The dribble drive is almost non-existent in college basketball? News to me. I like the three-point line where it is because it allows more players to hit the shot which actually increases spacing on the court. The NBA three pointer is a deep shot and it’s a tough shot for 19- and 20-year-old kids who haven’t developed as much as their professional counterparts. Leave the line where it is. (By the way, by moving the line back, 3PT accuracy dropped from 35.1% to 34.2%.)

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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