The new college basketball rules package is being welcomed with open arms by Big East coaches and players.
College basketball will have a new look in 2015-16, as the NCAA will enter its first season under a new rules package that was introduced in June for men’s and women’s basketball. In total, there will be roughly 10 rules changes on the men’s side and six changes on the women’s side.
The men’s changes will feature a 30-second shot clock (reduced from 35 seconds), a 4-foot restricted arc around the basket and a reduction in second-half timeouts.
Teams will now only have no more than three timeouts to use in the second half. In other words, teams will start the game with four timeouts instead of five and can carry over no more than three into the second half.
Coaches can also no longer call timeouts during a live-ball situation.
“I think there’s going to be a learning process,” Xavier men’s head coach Chris Mack said. “I don’t think the game will be vastly different from what the fans have seen in the past. I think the change to a 30-second shot clock will result in more teams three-quarter court zone-pressing to bring the shot clock down from 30 to 20 seconds.”
There is skepticism, though, when it comes to the new emphasis that will be placed on maintaining an offensive player’s freedom of movement, according to Creighton men’s head coach Greg McDermott.
“If they call it as it is written, the Big East as we knew no longer exists,” McDermott said, referring to the physical nature that the conference is known for.
“Some of the stories that I’ve heard from coaches who have brought in officials for their intra-squad scrimmages have been nightmarish, with 25 fouls called on one team for a 15-minute scrimmage.”
On the women’s side, some of the changes include playing four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves, being rewarded with a two-shot bonus when the opposing team commits five fouls in each quarter and only having one media timeout each quarter.
If a team calls a timeout before the five-minute mark, it will take the place of the quarter’s media timeout.
Teams will also be able to inbound the ball in the frontcourt if a timeout is called following a basket, a rebound or a change of possession in the final minute of the fourth quarter and all over- time periods.
Where the NCAA is trying to reduce the amount of contact in the men’s game, the women will be allowed to use hand-checks with a forearm or open hand, provided that the defender’s elbow is bent.
The NCAA will also experiment with a sixth foul during the season’s lower-tier postseason tournaments.
Kevin Huebler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Hueblerkevin.