College basketball shot clock may be shortened


Could the shot clock in college hoops be shortened? Tom Izzo (and others) are pushing for a change.

College basketball needs some tweaking if it hopes to improve the overall quality of the game.

There is no denying college hoops has seen a drop in overall appeal, and there could be some big-time rule changes coming to help offset these losses. According to a radio interview on WWLS, Tom Izzo and other prominent college hoops coaches are in favor of shortening the shot clock.

"One of the guys I have great respect for - Johnny Dawkins, who is at Stanford - and we were in our meetings the other day, and he said, ‘We have the slowest game in the world,'" Izzo said. "As you say, the international [game] is less [slow]. The pro is less. The women's is less. And here we are with 35 [seconds].

"It was talked about at our meetings in Atlanta," Izzo said. "You know the bureaucracy of committees and what it's got to do, but I think there is getting to be a growing run at maybe doing that, and I think more coaches are in favor of it."

You would be hard pressed to find many around college basketball opposed to shortening the shot clock. Scoring averages have dropped in recent years, and far too many teams just run motion offense now with hopes of winding the clock down and limiting possessions for the other team.

At the same time, dropping the shot clock from 35 seconds to 24 seconds would completely alter the game. It may be too fast, even for the teams that like to get the ball up and down the court. Others have suggested a 28- or 30-second shot clock may work better, at least at first.

Various rule changes have been implemented in recent years, but with marginal success. The most notable is the restricted arc below the basket on both ends of the floor. The hope was to improve officiating and reduce the number of controversial charge/block calls in the paint, although most would argue it hasn't done much to change the game.

Expect to hear a lot more about a potential shortening of the shot clock in the summer months, as coaches, conferences and officials meet to plan ahead for next year.

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