[tl;dr] Reduce Both the Men’s Shot Clock and Overall Number of Timeouts

A few weeks ago, Ryan wrote about adjustments college basketball should make in order to make the men’s game more competitive. One of the aspects he focused on was the shot clock, and it just happens that NCAA rules committee is considering a change to the shot clock in its biennial rules cycle. The current men’s shot clock is at 35-seconds, while women use 30 and NBA, WNBA, and FIBA each use a 24-second shot clock. The intent of the shot clock is quicken the pace of the game so the offense cannot hold the ball for an unlimited about of time.

It’s obvious men’s college basketball has a scoring problem, and while shortening the length of the shot clock might be an obvious way to help correct the situation it isn’t the best solution. To me, the best remedy to basketball’s scoring solutions is fewer timeouts.

Basketball’s scoring problems are most prevalent at the Division I level in media games; that is games where timeouts are automatic every four minutes for broadcast media. In addition to four media timeouts per half, teams still retain their four 75-second timeouts (often expanded to 90-seconds for media) and two 30-second timeouts. Each team must use at least one of their 30-second timeouts in the first half or lose that timeout. Assuming teams use all of their timeouts there is a potential of 20 timeouts in one game.

TWENTY timeouts in one game!

Let that sink in.

The easiest solution to solve Division I’s scoring problem is to reduce the amount of timeouts in media games. We know broadcast media will not give up their structured timeouts, so the best solution is to either reduce the overall number of timeouts to say three per game, or make all non-media timeouts in media games 30-seconds.

As far as reducing the shot clock: yes, it will force more attempts, but that will not necessarily mean more made baskets or better shorts. Initially it will mean fewer of both.

Offenses will need to adjust to a shorter clock. A 30-second clock should also eliminate the requirement to advance to ball to the frontcourt in 10-seconds mirroring the women’s rule.

For college basketball, 24 seconds isn’t enough time for most teams to run a proper offense. In a time of giving offenses the advantage, the best solution is to reduce the clock to 30-seconds along with reducing the overall number of timeouts.

tl; dr is a tech nerd term for too long; didn’t read. the purpose of these posts is to provide a quick summary and analysis of something interesting in the sports world. //