MORGANTOWN — Curtis Shaw, coordinator of men’s basketball officials, said it is an exciting time in college basketball.
“In my 10 years in this role, 30 years in basketball, I’m most excited about what they did this year than anything for the good of the game, for the style of the game, where they want the game to go. I think we’re at a great time,” Shaw said of the changes he presented at the Big 12 media days on Oct. 23.
One difference this year is the three point line, which has been moved back to the international distance, 22-feet, 1 3/4 inches around the top, 21 feet, 7 7/8 in the corners.
“We’ve done a lot of data over the last four years. The shooting percentages in the NIT tournament, some of the multiteam events really didn’t change a whole lot,” Shaw said. “What it does is moves the floor out and provides more spacing for offenses to run. I think it’s going to be a good addition to our game, probably a few growing pains, but overall I think it’s going to help us.”
Another difference this season is the reset of the shot clock. Shaw explained that if the offense shoots, hits the rim — whether it’s a free throw or live ball — and then retains possession, the clock is only going to reset to 20 seconds. This also goes for if the ball hits the rim with 26 seconds left on the clock, it will reset to 20 seconds.
“The theory is you don’t need the 10 seconds to get it down the court. This will provide more opportunities for scoring, more team possessions and a livelier game,” Shaw explained.
Shaw said the committee also addressed flopping.
“They’re tired of the acting, tired of the drama. We want to play real basketball,” he explained. “We don’t want players to have to embellish or fake in order to get calls.”
Each team will get one delay a game warning of any kind, including a flop. The second one is in a Class B technical foul, which is one shot, then put the ball back in play.
“It doesn’t mean you have to get two flopping warnings to get a technical foul. It could be any kind of delays,” Shaw said. “We’ve really talked to the teams about not getting them confused. The Rules Committee discussed this for a couple hours, from what I was told, and decided they wanted to be severe because they want it out of the game.”
Shaw said the three types of flops are: jump shooters falling without being touched; players trying to draw a charge and getting minimal, if any, contact; and then the head snap.
The next topic discussed was traveling.
“Traveling has been our worst call in college basketball the last five or six years. We’re terrible at it,” he said. “During the summer training session, we’re changing who looks at plays, we’re trying to get more assistant to the footwork. Whoever is looking at the footwork, especially when a guy is in the post and the league is concentrating on the big guys, people come in to help him.”
Shaw added that a policy has been added which calls for referees to be held accountable for excessively missed traveling.
The committee has also been looking at cleaning up post play physicality, Shaw said.
“In a lot of ways, we’ve taken most of the defense strength to defend away. We won’t let them get up on you. Can’t put your hand on them. Can’t drive them out, put your knee in the butt,” he said. “We could not allow the offense to then take advantage of that when it’s hard enough to play defense.”
Huggins, who was on the rules committee this summer, said he does not think it will be easy to clean up post play due to player size.
“How are you going to clean up post play when you have 6’10”, 270-pound guys leaning on each other? There’s going to be contact,” Huggins said.
“I think the thing that needs to be called, if they’re displaced, shouldn’t be allowed to do that. I mean, obviously if it affects their shot, you shouldn’t be allowed to do that. But there’s going to be contact.
“This thing that we’re going to have a no-contact sport, those people have never played our game. You got 10 big, strong, fast guys in a confined area. There’s going to be some contact.”