Ten-second count may finally be coming to women’s college basketball

1 Comment

Much of the attention being paid to the rules changes recommended for college basketball has been focused on the recommendations made by the men’s basketball rules committee.

But the women’s basketball rules committee also met Thursday, and among their recommendations is a rule that would have a major impact on the women’s game. The recommendation: adding the ten-second backcourt rule.

There’s been no such rule in women’s basketball since the NCAA began sponsoring a championship in the sport in the 1981-82 season (before that it was the AIAW that did so), with teams having the full 30-second shot clock to get the ball over half court if needed.

There was a five-second closely guarded rule for players in the backcourt due to the absence of a ten-count, and that rule would be eliminated should the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approve the proposed changes on June 18.

“Given feedback from stakeholders through the years, this is the right time to approve the rule,” said Barbara Burke, Women’s Basketball Rules Committee chair and director of athletics at Eastern Illinois. “Overall, we discussed pace of play, creating scoring opportunities and flow of the game.

“Adding the 10-second backcourt rule adds another element of strategy, and this rule fits into the concepts of growing the game.”

Frankly it’s beyond time that the women’s game added the ten-second backcourt rule, and it’s an issue that is more important (and influential) than the argument as to whether or not baskets should be lowered.

If approved the addition of the ten-second rule would (in theory) help increase the pace of the game, something that lowering the rims wouldn’t necessarily do.

In addition to the backcourt rule, the women’s committee has recommended that a secondary defender be allowed to draw a charge within the restricted area in situations where the offensive player begins her move inside of the lower defensive box area.

There could also be a change in the way media timeouts are handled, as a team timeout taken within 30 seconds of a scheduled media timeout (with the exception of the under-16 second half media stoppage) would become that media timeout. The goal of that change would be to avoid multiple timeouts within a short timespan, thus improving the flow of the game.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Gonzaga’s Mark Few named AP Coach of the Year

Leave a comment

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has added to his program’s banner season with an individual award, being named AP Coach of the Year on Thursday afternoon.

Few led the Bulldogs to their first Final Four. The Zags enter the national semifinal with a 36-1 record. Up until Feb. 25, they were flirting with a perfect season. A loss to BYU is currently the only blemish on their season.

Few also won his 500th career game during the course of the 2016-17 season. Since 2014, two coaches from outside the major conferences have earned his honor. Gregg Marshall was named AP Coach of the Year in 2014 after leading the Shockers to a perfect regular season.

This was a very competitive race this season. Sean Miller lost two players expected to be key pieces this season — and had Allonzo Trier miss 19 games — but guided Arizona to the Pac-12 Tournament championship. Jay Wright led Villanova to another Big East title despite two cornerstone pieces — Ryan Arcidiancono and Daniel Ochefu — gone from last season’s national championship team. For a while, Baylor’s Scott Drew seemed to be the favorite. The Bears didn’t receive a single vote in the preseason top-25 poll but went on to earn a No. 1 ranking.

Few’s season continues on Saturday against South Carolina.

Frank Mason is named AP Player of the Year

Leave a comment

Kansas point guard Frank Mason III was named the AP Player of the Year on Thursday afternoon.

The senior floor general for the Jayhawks headlined the AP All-American team, which included UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, Villanova Swingman Josh Hart, Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan and North Carolina small forward Justin Jackson.

Mason averaged 20.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and shot 49 percent from behind the 3-point line during the 2016-17 season. He helped guide Kansas to its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular season title.

He becomes the fourth senior in a row to win the award, preceded by Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminksy and Creighton’s Doug McDermott.

He had previously been named player of the year by NBC Sports.

TJ Leaf declares for the 2017 NBA Draft

Leave a comment

UCLA freshman forward TJ Leaf announced he is declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday afternoon.

The 6-foot-10 Leaf averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. His shooting numbers were also impressive, connecting on 62 percent of his field goals, including 27-of-58 from beyond the 3-point arc.

This news comes six days after Lonzo Ball officially announced he had played his last game at UCLA. Neither move is shocking, with Ball in the running for the No. 1 overall pick and Leaf also pegged as a first round selection.

The Bruins will have quite a bit of turnover next season with guards Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton exhausting their eligibility. UCLA head coach Steve Alford has a six-man recruiting class set to come in to help replenish the roster. It’s led by versatile forward Kris Wilkes, point guard Jaylen Hands, and big men Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.

CBT Fancast: Catching up with famous Final Four fans: Adam Morrison, Marcus Paige, Neil Everett

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Leave a comment

For today’s episode, I spoke with the famous fans of the programs in the Final Four, from the greatest player in Gonzaga history to the almost-star of last year’s Final Four to the most famous dual Gonzaga and Oregon fan in the world.

Sindarius Thornwell misses practice on Thursday

Al Bello/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sindarius Thornwell has been the best player in the NCAA tournament to date, yet he was not in the building on Thursday when the South Carolina Gamecocks practiced and he was nowhere to be found during South Carolina’s media availability.

A school spokeswoman told reporters that Thornwell was back at the hotel, that he was sick and resting.

Thornwell is averaging 25.7 points in four games in the NCAA tournament. He’s been sensational. If he’s not at his best this weekend, that’s a massive blow for South Carolina’s chances of getting to a national title game, but South Carolina head coach Frank Martin doesn’t seem too concerned.

“I’ve got a bug myself. Luckily I don’t have to play,” Martin said. “He had a little body temperature last night when we landed. And he was a little better this morning. But I kind of told our trainer, just feed him fluids, do what doctors do and let him rest rather than stress him right now. He’s our most intelligent player. And I don’t mean to say that demeaning the other guys. He understands basketball at a high, high level, he doesn’t need to be on the practice court to understand what we’re doing.”