CBT Roundtable: What rule would you change in college basketball?

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On Monday night, news broke that college basketball could very likely be going to a 30 second shot clock, which is a move most in the game believe should be made. 

But that’s far from the only issue that our great sport dealt with this past season. We asked each of our writers what rule they would change if they were the college basketball commissioner for a day. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments:

Terrence Payne: Let’s stop secondary defenders from being able to draw charges. For instance, an offensive player beats his man to the basket only to have another defender slide in at the last possible moment, leaving that offensive player no chance to counter … that’s fair? So, bail out the primary defender for getting beat and punish the offensive player for getting to the rim?

Here’s an example of Butler’s Andrew Chrabascz from back in November at the Battle 4 Atlantis. He beats Mikael Hopkins off the dribble and actually eludes Paul White, the secondary defender, but is still whistled for a charge. And here’s Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell against Indiana in December. He’s already in an upward motion before Indiana’s secondary defender is even set. Call? Charge.

How do either of these calls make sense?

Force the primary defender to play defense. Let him beat his man to the spot and draw a charge. I’m tired of living in a world where this is a charge.

(Editor’s Note: These two were by far the worst charge calls of the season.)

Raphielle Johnson: How many times this season did we watch officials huddle around a monitor for far too long, only to fail to come to a conclusion regarding a controversial call? Or in some cases, still manage to get the call wrong? Let’s limit reviews to 60 seconds with an actual clock and buzzer (if the arena wants to use the scoreboard clock, even better). If you can’t figure it out by then, just stick with the original call. Or, better yet, let’s have a designated replay official. Just as people don’t tune in to watch some officials grandstand during games, they also don’t tune in to see guys huddled around a monitor.

Timeouts need to be cut down for sure, but this monitor issue is something else I’d like to see the rules committee address. And if crews consistently go past the 60-second mark, give them a warning and then fine them. Nothing helps a message hit home like losing a little money.

Scott Phillips: I’d really like to see college basketball examine the possibility of moving from two 20-minute halves to four 10-minute quarters.

There are multiple reasons for doing this.

For one, it matches what most of basketball is already doing. The NBA, FIBA and most high school basketball federations already go with the four-quarter system. Going back to Raphielle talking about there being too many timeouts, it also creates a natural break for one of the many television timeouts we see during college basketball games. It would also add some additional possessions at the end of quarters as teams try to get up additional shots to beat the clock. Maybe college basketball coaches would finally use the concept of the 2-for-1 at the end of a quarter?

But the biggest reason I’d like to see the four-quarter system is a reduction in the number of free throws we see start to build up so early during the current system of 20-minute halves. I’m tired of watching teams get in the bonus and double bonus with over 10 minutes left in a half and I’m sure much of America feels the same way. Nobody wants to watch a free-throw fest based on touch fouls. The quarter system could reduce the number of bonus and double-bonus free throws by implementing a system that resets after each quarter. Each quarter would be a fresh start for team fouls.

The FIBA and NBA model calls for bonus free throws starting on the fifth foul of each quarter, but we might have to tweak that for the one-and-one rule a little bit.

I haven’t done the proper math to equate the 20-minute bonus system to 10 minutes (and how it would be most fair to the current state of play) but it wouldn’t penalize teams in foul trouble so early in a long half. Free throws wouldn’t kill the flow of the game with so much time left on the clock. We’d get to see more basketball being played.

Rob Dauster: I’d love to see the NCAA not only adopt, but truly enforce the freedom of movement rules that were put into place during the 2013-14 season. Coaches have realized, and started taking advantage of, the fact that they know officials are not going to call fouls on every possession. They teach their defenses to grab, to hold, to use hand-checks and armbars. The NBA went through this phase about 10 years ago, and after instituting a few changes to how defense is allowed to be played, we’ve reached a point where the game at the professional level is as good as it has ever been. In fact, the NBA’s popularity is one of the reasons that the college basketball regular season has taken a hit. What would you rather watch: two teams beat each other up while grinding out a game that doesn’t hit the 60-point plateau until free throws in the final seconds, or Steph Curry and Klay Thompson?

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.