Basketball’s the same everywhere — except the ball

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Basketball’s the same at every D-I school. Rims are 10 feet high, free-throws are from 15 feet away and the court’s 50 feet wide and 94 feet long.

Only thing that changes is the ball.

NCAA rules mandate a ball that weighs between 20 and 22 ounces, features a circumference between 29½ and 30 inches, can be orange, red-orange or brown and must be spherical. Those differences are enough to throw some shooters off, but not nearly as much as the un-regulated difference.

There’s no set brand.

As this N.Y. Times story details, ball brands vary throughout the game. Spalding, Nike, adidas, it’s up to the home team. Some feel slick, some have deeper grooves than others. And those things make a difference to a shooter.

“It’s definitely a difference, and I think that’s something that goes under the radar sometimes,” Pittsburgh guard Ashton Gibbs told the paper. “It affects a little bit of everything: the handle, the gripping of it and the shooting of the ball. You just have to get used to it.”

It makes for an interesting read, mostly for how teams try to gain an advantage at home by using a specific type (Wisconsin prefers Spalding). But some think it’s not that big of a deal.

“They’re all round; they’re all pretty much the same size,” Florida State guard Luke Loucks said. “It’s like the same argument with adjusting to hoops. And as much as balls do vary in composition and feel, they’re all still basketballs.”

It should be noted Loucks shoots 28.9 percent from 3.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.