A look at the latest possible MBB rules changes

It is now official.

Next season, college basketball will be implementing several new rule changes after the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Monday approved the men’s basketball rules committee proposed rules changes they released last month.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball head coach Jack Perri is one of twelve members who was on the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee.

Here is the full list of the new rules changes which will likely go into effect at the start of the 2015-16 men’s basketball season.

Of the now newly-implemented rules changes, some of the major changes that likely have a impact on the game next season are:

– Reducing the shot clock from 35 seconds down to 30 seconds

I’m in definite favor of this rule change. In my opinion, it is long overdue. This is where the rules committee should have landed years ago when they first reduced the shot clock which was then the 45-second shot clock down to 35 seconds. The obvious reason behind the change is for teams to get more possessions per game and thus hopefully leads to more scoring which has had a downward trend in recent years. Some people feel by reducing the shot clock five seconds that it will reduce the number of quality looks in a game since teams will now have less time to shoot. I believe if a team can’t get a good look at a shot inside of 30 seconds, having an extra five seconds isn’t going to cure your offensive woes. Last season, according to kenpom.com, the average possession length in Division I was between 14.6 and 21.9 seconds. In the past five seasons, there wasn’t a team who averaged more than 23 seconds per possession. So losing five seconds to the shot clock should help quicken the pace of the game and hopefully add more points to the scoreboard. I’m in the category where I don’t want to see game played in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

– The Restricted-Area Arc moving from three feet to four feet away from the basket 

Let’s face it. The charge/block rule is a necessary evil in college basketball. The game needs to have it but officials are never consistent with calling it. Every official seem to have their own interpretation of what is a charge and what is a blocking foul. Hopefully, with a restricted-arc pushed out another foot to four feet, the block/charge will be easier to call and there was less instances of those calls needed because there will be less collisions underneath the basket with the arc being out more. I like it!

– Coaches will have one fewer timeout, going from five to four

I’m in favor of fewer timeouts so this change for me is a positive. I feel though the committee really missed an opportunity to even go one further and I’ll explain about that more in a bit. Coaches will go from having five timeouts in a game (one full [60 seconds] timeout and four 30-second timeouts with one 30 second timeout needed to used in the first half) to four timeouts in a game (one full [60 seconds] timeout and three 30-second timeouts with one 30 second timeout needed to used in the first half). There will be still be four media timeout per half so each coach could have in essence twelve timeouts per game instead of thirteen.

– Eliminating the five-second closely-guarded rule

Hallelujah!!! Finally, this passed-its-time rule will be coming off the rule books! This is another rule officials can’t never be consistent with. Sometimes a player is closely-guarded for more than five seconds and the whistle doesn’t get blown. One instance this season, I saw an official count up to three, stop his count for a full second, started his count again as if he was continuing his count for another second and give the defense a five-second call. It is about time to put this rule out to pasture.

– Players who have deemed to have flopped will get hit with a flagrant foul

Next season, if the officials believe that a player flopped on the defensive end, officials can now review a call and see if they should give that player a flagrant foul call (two free throws and the possession of the ball to the other team). This is a huge rule change and should hopefully reduce the number of flops in college basketball. Players will not want to cross a head coach on the bench if he gets hit with a flopping call.

Even though, I’m very happy with nearly all of rules changes proposed, there are three changes I believed they missed on and hopefully will see in the future.

One, I believe men’s rules committee should did what the women’s rules committee did and make the game four ten-minute quarters instead of two twenty-minute halves. By doing this and having one media timeout per quarter, they are essentially eliminating one more media timeout per half. I would rather see the number of media timeouts get reduced and let the coaches keep their five timeouts for strategic use.

Two, I also would have like to seen them go from five fouls per player to six fouls. Even though, they will experiment with the six-foul rule in the 2016 NIT postseason tournament as they did with the 30-second shot clock and the four-foot restricted arc in this year’s NIT postseason tournament, I would have loved if the men’s basketball rules committee had decided to propose the six-foul rule for use immediately instead of taking a wait-and-see approach. I believe it will eventually happen sooner than later. You want to see your best players on the court and not have to sit for long stretches of halves in foul trouble when they pick up two quick ticky-tack first half fouls. I think six-fouls in the way to go.

Three, advance the ball to mid-court after a timeout in the final minute of the second half and overtimes. I don’t see why this hasn’t happened yet in men’s college basketball. It would add so much last second drama in late game situations to have the ball inbounded at mid-court instead of watching a team having to sprint up the court and take a long heave at the buzzer. It is another rule change the women’s are bringing in for next season while the men’s are letting another season go by on.

I think number two will definitely happen eventually. I don’t think there is a big clamor for number one and no big push for number three just yet but you can bet they will take a look on how these new rules changes impacts the women’s game and see if it’s something they think about pursuing for the men’s game as well.

All in all, I think these proposed rule changes should help make for some quicker paced game if not high scoring. If will be interesting to see how calls are made next season and how those calls effect college basketball in either a positive or negative way. Yet, more reasons to look forward to the 2015-16 season.

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