by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, June 17, 2004
My recent post about the effect of the proposed experimental rules on college basketball ignored something important. It ignored the context under which these changes are being considered. After all, if the balance between offense and defense is tilting towards the offense, then making a few changes to help the defense might be appropriate.
The NCAA has been tracking basketball statistics since 1948, and they're published annually in the NCAA Record Book. Turn to pages 37 and 38 to see the data yourself.
Numbers for 2003-04 haven't been published yet, but after doing the calculations I can tell you that scoring averaged 69.3 points per game, continuing a decade-long decrease. There have been only 3 seasons since 1960 that have had less offense. Those years were 1982, 1984, and 1985, back in the pre-shot-clock and no-3-point-shot days. Field goals made dropped to levels not seen since the 1953-54…
by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, June 6, 2004
About a month ago the NCAA announced the experimental rules that are to be used in exempt games this season. For the second consecutive season, the 3 point line will be moved back 9 inches to 20' 6" and the lane will be widened. (Although the lane won't be the international-style trapezoid used last season, it will be an odd looking six-sided polygon.)
Why make these changes? Basketball rules committee chairman Willis Wilson explains:
Wilson said that the goal of a wider lane is to better spread the floor to reduce rough play near the basket and to allow periphery players easier access on their penetration to the basket. The extension of the three-point line is part of that desire, not an effort to make the shot more difficult. “Our research from past experimental rules shows that moving back the line does not affect the number of three-point shots…