[Moderated by Matt Jones]
In this off-season, as in every off-season, there has been plenty of talk about rules changes. One proposed rule change that has garnered a significant amount of attention has been the shortened, 24-second shot clock. When CBS sports conducted an anonymous survey of Division I coaches, this change was the most popular with 19% of coaches advocating for its implementation.
The reason that this proposal is gaining so much traction is fairly straightforward. The shortened shot clock will drastically speed up the game. This means more shots, more scoring, and I’m assuming the NCAA would be banking on more viewers. It’s no secret that football and basketball are the only college sports that can make money for universities, but basketball still is a distant second in terms of popularity and potential revenues. A shortened shot-clock would be a step towards making the game more exciting and possibly raising the profile of college basketball on the national scale. Can all of this happen simply by changing the shot-clock? Of course not. But tweaking the game to make it similar the professional could move the sport in that direction.
There’s also the argument that a shortened shot clock would help coaches better prepare their players for the NBA. This line of reasoning is easily dismissed. The percentage of Division I players that will ever play in the NBA is incredibly small; under 1%. The NCAA can’t shouldn’t (the NCAA CAN do anything they put their mind to) implement rules that are aimed at only a few yet affect everyone.
In my opinion, I think that 24 seconds is too short. I love college basketball in large part because there’s time for teams to actually run an offense. Far too many possessions in the NBA consist of a couple passes and a fade-a-way shot from the teams’ star. In the college game players have time to run plays, move without the ball, set screens, and wear down the defense. That being said, team’s also have time to dribble away 30 seconds of shot-clock before rushing into shot. That’s boring to watch. But it’s not so boring and so common as to completely change how the game is played by implementing a 24 second clock.
CBS sports’ Matt Norlander advocates for a 30 second clock, and this is something that I could really get behind. This would slightly increase the speed of the game and would also lead to a slight increase in scoring on the whole. 30 seconds, though, is still enough time to preserve the way the college game is played. In 30 seconds teams can run their sets, and if nothing’s there still have time to organize a decent attempt before receiving a violation. I like the 30 second clock, and I’m fine if the 35 second clock stays, just please, NCAA, don’t implement the 24 second clock. What say you, BBN?
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