By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (June 11, 2015) — Rule changes are made following every NCAA basketball season, but most years they are subtle to the point the average fan rarely notices the difference.
That won’t be the case this year, however, with rules committees focusing on increasing the pace of play in both men’s and women’s games.
On the women’s side, Tarleton State head coach Misty Wilson is pleased with the new rules. But on the men’s side, Texan associate head coach Chris Reisman was hesitant toward some new regulations and adamantly opposed to others.
Major changes to the men’s game include a reduced shot clock, going from 35 seconds to 30. It’s the first change made to the shot clock since it was reduced from 45 seconds to 35 before the 1993-94 season.
There is also the elimination of live-ball timeouts, which Reisman says will take a lot of getting used to for veteran coaches and players alike, and the elimination of the five-second violation as it pertains to a player being closely guarded while dribbling.
“In 14 years of coaching, I don’t remember this many rule changes in one year,” said Reisman in a video interview conducted by Ryan Cox of the Tarleton Athletic Communications Department. “The biggest ones that stood out in my mind and that I was kind of shocked by were no longer being able to call a timeout during live ball, and the (elimination of the) five-second rule, discouraging tough defensive play.
“I just think they are trying to make the game more fast-paced and eliminate more stoppages,” Reisman continued. “They’re trying to make it a more fan-friendly game, and the fast pace is more fun for the fans.”
Another major change won’t be scene until the postseason, and it is unclear if that means in conference tournaments or just in the NCAA Division II playoffs. During the regular season, players will still be disqualified following a fifth personal foul, but in the postseason, players are eligible until receiving a sixth foul.
Reisman is open to the extension of the personal foul count, but the timing of the change dew his ire.
“The idea is a neat idea, but I don’t like them waiting until the postseason to change it. Now you go from playing the entire year one way, then when it matters most, you change the rule? I noticed they’re not doing it at the Division One level, just the Division Two level, so I feel like we’re the guinea pig for some of these changes and I don’t like that,” Reisman said. “Our players I feel like are just as important as any player at any level. They are all athletes here to get an education and play college basketball.”
By and large, however, Reisman doesn’t foresee Tarleton making any wholesale changes in reaction to the new rules.
“I don’t think it will effect what we do tremendously. We tell our guys to adjust to the way the game is called, and as a coaching staff we adjust as well,” he said. “This may affect what we do strategically in certain situations, but overall it won’t change the backbone of our program or anything major.”
Still, he isn’t a fan of the college game becoming more like the NBA.
“Everything is being pushed toward the pro game. Me personally, I like the differences from college basketball to the pro game. I feel like college basketball is it’s own brand and is one of the most watched sports in the world. For us to move closer to the pro game, yeah, there’s a little hesitancy for me, but I can see what they’re trying to do.”
Other men’s changes include:
*The restricted-area arc is being extended to four feet from the basket instead of three, with the purpose of limiting collisions at the basket.
*Only three timeouts can be carried over to the second half as opposed to four.
*Any timeout taken within 30 seconds of a scheduled media timeout will replace the media break. (Ex. – If a team calls timeout with 16:27 remaining in either half, the timeout will replace the 16-minute media timeout for that half).
*Officials can review shot clock violations and made field goals throughout the game.
*When reviewing to determine if a foul is flagrant, officials may also penalize a player who is believed to have faked being fouled.
*Class B technical fouls (for hanging on the rim, delaying resumption of play, etc.) now yield one foul shot instead of two.
*Technical fouls will no longer be assessed for dunking during pre-game or halftime warmups.
Wilson, on the other hand, is excited about the changes to the women’s game.
“The ones they’ve changed I’m really impressed with. I like the way they will change the game, speed up the game,” she said, also in a video interview by Tarleton Athletic Communications.
Women will now play four 10-minute quarters as opposed to two 20-minute halves. There will be one media timeout in each period, scheduled for the first whistle following the five-minute mark. Also under the four quarter format, team fouls will reset to zero each quarter, with teams entering the double bonus – two free throws, not just a 1-and-1 bonus – upon the opposition’s fifth foul of each quarter.
“I think just having one media (timeout) in the quarters will speed up the game. You’ll have five-minute stretches instead of four, and sometimes it could be five to seven minutes, because there are a lot of times medias happen two or three minutes after they are scheduled,” said Wilson. Regarding new the team fouls and bonus scenarios, she added, “It puts less emphasis on the first free throw (in the old 1-and-1 bonus), which I like. If you’re fouled you should be rewarded. It will stress on the defensive side playing without fouling and hopefully make the game less physical, but on the offensive side you’ll have the incentive to get to the basket and get fouled more.”
Also similar to the NBA game, NCAA women’s teams can now take a timeout immediately following a made basket by the opposition, and inbound the ball from the front court. This only applies in the final 59.9 seconds of regulation and overtime. Also during this time, teams may call timeout after securing a rebound or change of possession and inbound the ball in the front court from the 28-foot mark.
Other women’s changes include:
*The 10-second backcourt rule will not be in effect following a ball being deflected out of bounds by the defense, a held ball with possession arrow favoring the offense or a technical foul called on the offense while in the backcourt.
*Defenders will be allowed to place a non-extended forearm or open hand on the back of of an offensive post player with the ball if her back is to the basket.
*Teams will have four timeouts – three 30-second timeouts and one full timeout, but can carry only three over to the second half. Regulation timeouts can be carried over to overtime, and teams receive an extra 30-second timeout during each overtime period.
*Bands and music are allowed to play in any dead-ball situation instead of only during timeouts and intermission.
Watch the full video of Cox interviewing Reisman and Wilson here.
Check out The Flash Today on Sunday as sports editor Brad Keith weighs in with his opinions of the new rules.