So, the ACC is going to experiment with a 30 second shot clock in exhibition games this year.
“Our coaches and ADs both felt it would be an enhancement to the game in today’s world,” Swofford said. “It adds more possessions and potentially would speed up the game.”
NCAA men’s teams have used a 35-second shot clock since the 1993-94 season.
Swofford said league coaches submitted the proposal to the athletic directors during the spring meetings, and the athletic directors embraced the idea. The ACC would give its feedback on the use of the 30-second shot clock to the men’s basketball rules committee.
“That’s where the game is headed,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN’s Andy Katz at the NBA draft combine in Chicago. “We want to be ahead of the game. We want to provide data and see what it’s like.”
Presumably, Coach Dixon is at the NBA draft combine to support Lamar Patterson.
Definitely mixed feelings on the 30 second shot clock experiment. I think it isn’t a bad thing when you talk about helping for a more standardized game. The pros, FIBA and Euro leagues all use a 24 second clock, so moving it closer to that seems like a good step.
On the other hand, it isn’t going to make a change to scoring. If anything, scoring will go down in college. It is not going to encourage teams to run more.
However, NCAA women and international youth teams don’t have the tremendous problem with freedom-of-moment issues that college men do. How does “bumping the cutter” translate into French or Russian or Serbian? I’m betting they have no comparable phrase.
The problem with the 30-second cycle is that it makes it much easier for teams to play sound defense. The greatest issue with any defense, in any possession sport, is sustaining cohesive effort against a prolonged attack. It’s why football teams want pass-rushers; give a great quarterback enough time, eventually he will find an open receiver.
If a basketball team exercises crisp player and ball movement long enough, even the best defense is likely to spring a leak and allow a quality shot attempt. But if that time is limited, the offensive team loses an advantage. And if the defense is allowed to bump players off their proscribed cuts, or to jump in front of penetrating ballhandlers to draw charges, the defense gains another edge.
The assumption is that shortening the shot-clock cycle will make college basketball a faster, more attractive game. It’s not necessarily true. The last time the colleges cut the shot clock, from 45 to 35 in 1993-94, shot attempts only increased by four per game, and shooting percentages fell by nearly a full percentage point, from 45.2 percent to 44.3.
Within four years, as defensive-oriented coaches realized how the shorter clock empowered defenses by requiring players to guard for shorter bursts, scoring had dropped by nearly 10 points per game.
Imagine a Rick Pitino defense fueled by a 30-second shot clock. He puts on a nuisance press to drain seven or eight seconds off a possession before the ball crosses halfcourt, maybe 10 before the point guard can make his initial pass. Now Louisville’s opponent has 15 seconds to get off a quality attempt before the specter of a clock violation forces rushed action at the end of the cycle. And consider that as all this transpires, nobody’s getting a free pass to make a move through the lane or along the baseline, and any drives at the goal will be discouraged by help defenders ducking in to draw charges.
The issue, once again, is freedom of movement. The college game has remained a physical game that favors defense. The attempts this past year by officials had the predictable result. Lots of calls earlier in the year that tapered off steadily into the conference play and NCAA Tournament. And now there is already an attempt to go backwards by going back to the older block/charge rule which further rewards defense.
Anyone who followed the NBA of the mid-90s remembers the low-scoring physical games that saw defense rule first. Shot clock made no difference if players couldn’t get to the basket cleanly. I have no problem with giving it a try, but a shorter shot clock won’t speed tempo or improve the game without cleaning up the other stuff. Whether concurrently or before a real switch on the shot clock.
Coach Jamie Dixon was 15th on the list. About where you would expect. The real takeaway after you get past the top-paid and deserving money for coaches like Krzyzewski, Izzo, Donovan, Calipari, Self and Pitino is how job interest from others or just leaving for another job makes the difference. Seeing Steve Alford making over $3.4 million from UCLA. Josh Pastner leverages regular interest to make sure Memphis pays him well. As does Jay Wright at Villanova. Just as Jamie Dixon does. The only other way to get a boost is to take the money from desperate schools — Travis Ford, OK State; Scott Drew, Baylor; Mike Gottfried, NC State all jump out on the list.