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.”
The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.