You may want to sit down: College basketball’s higher-ups did something for the good of the game Friday.
The sport has become nigh-unwatchable to some casual fans over the last few years due to more than a few issues, but the rules committee has proposed a few changes: A 30-second shot clock, an extension of the restricted area under the basket, and a reduction in the number of timeouts available to coaches. The hope is that they will increase the pace of play and the watchability of the game.
They also play directly into new Florida coach Michael White's hands. His Louisiana Tech teams played very fast basketball, hovering around the top 40 in KenPom's adjusted tempo in the final three years of his tenure. They played well at pace, too, winning 27, 29 and 27 games during that span, losing only eight times.
While he was unavailable for comment directly, all of the above changes are things White is in favor of, I’m told by a UF spokesperson. And White would also like to see defensive contact called more strictly.
"Basically, anything that helps the speed/flow of the game, he’s for," the spokesperson said.
Other changes proposed by the rules committee include reducing the penalty for hanging on the rim to a one-shot technical foul, allowing pregame warmup dunking and elimination of the five-second close guarding whistle. The former two would have helped Florida significantly in past years: Will Yeguete once got tagged for a questionable technical for hanging on the rim, and Casey Prather once incurred a penalty for dunking in pregame action.
Coaches might also be unable to call live-ball timeouts, and the 10-second backcourt time would not reset following a timeout, eliminating a classic college basketball bailout procedure for an inept beginning to an offensive possession.
All rules changes must be approved by an oversight panel on June 8, but the raft of proposed changes is certainly a step in a new direction for the sport.