Might we finally be seeing change coming to college basketball’s 35-second shot clock?
Among the items that were discussed at the ACC’s spring meetings this week was a reduction of the shot clock to 30 seconds, and it has been decided that the conference will use a 30-second shot clock experimentally during exhibition games this season.
“Our coaches and ADs both felt it would be an enhancement to the game in today’s world,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said, according to a report from ESPN. “It adds more possessions and potentially would speed up the game.”
Reducing the shot clock has been a topic that’s been up for debate for a couple of years now, as college hoops has the longest shot clock at any level of the game where one exists. The NBA has a 24-second clock. Women’s basketball has a 30-second clock in college and a 24-second clock in the NBA. FIBA uses a 24-second clock. At the high school level, shot clocks are not required by all states, but the Nike EYBL uses a 30-second shot clock.
The theory is that a shorter shot clock would increase possessions in a game and, thus, increase scoring. The ACC is coming off of a season where they were arguably the most boring conference in the country, averaging less than 62 possessions per game, the lowest number in the country.
But that doesn’t mean there’s going to be strong support across the country for a change.
“Shot clock was discussed at some length in the rules committee – when I thew it out in the NABC board meeting, there was surprisingly little discussion about it and surprisingly little support,” Belmont head coach Rick Byrd, who doubles as the chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee, told SI.com last week. “No one in that room ventured forth and said ‘We need this, this is something we really need to do at all,’ and the opportunity was there. We will certainly revisit it next May, but I don’t think it’s as much a frontburner issue as others expect it to be.”