There was a major push last offseason to make the on-court product during a college basketball game more palatable. The game had turned into a glorified rugby match, the physicality draining the life — and scoring — out of college hoops.
That changed this season, as the new rules that were implemented changed how referees would be calling the game. They took away hand-checking, they limited how much a player could be bumped on a cut through the lane and, once referees and players fell into a rhythm, it helped to increase the scoring and made the game more entertaining to watch.
This year there will be a number of rules changes up for vote as well, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:
- Reducing the number of timeouts. The biggest issue with college hoops is that the end of a close game takes forever, between the fouls, the timeouts given when a player fouls out and the fact that the teams get some many timeouts per game.
- The reduction of the shot clock to 30, or even 24, seconds. I’d be in favor of 30 seconds, but 24 is too short. This isn’t the NBA, you need to allow the teams a chance to run a set otherwise college hoops will devolve into nothing but one-on-one isolations from players that aren’t as good as their NBA counterparts.
- Eliminating live-ball timeouts, which is a rule that FIBA has in place. The way the current rules are set up, if the defense gets a trap, an offensive player — or his coach — can call timeout to save possession. In the international game, timeouts can only be called when the ball is dead.
- Changing the 10-second rule so that a team has ten seconds total to cross half court. Calling a timeout in the back court currently refreshes the clock.
There are a few other rules on the table — widening the lane, using the NBA’s continuation rule, no scoring on charges — but those four are the big four that have been complained about the most.
Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.
On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.
One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.
As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).
And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.
While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.
And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.
St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.
Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.
St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.
The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?