Rule Changes Challenge Bill Self, KU

Bill self

Photo by Mike Yoder

New rule changes in college basketball include restrictions on limiting opponent’s movements with the hands, as well as a change to the block/charge rule, which requires a defender to have both feet set before a shooter starts upward motion toward the basket. The new rule changes by NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee were a major topic of discussion at Big 12 Media Day at the Sprint Center on Oct. 22.

Big 12 coaches, including Kansas coach Bill Self, were shown film clips by men’s basketball officials coordinator Curtis Shaw that demonstrated the changes in officiating.

“My initial thought was that scoring is going to go up and good play is going to go down,” Self said. “The reason scoring will go up is because we’re shooting more free throws.”

Self also said he believed the best way to improve the Jayhawk’s play is to create more shots, and the new restrictive rules would lead to more fragmented games because of the large number of fouls being called.

According to a sports reference site, the Jayhawks ranked 10th in made free throws in the 2012-2013 season, showing, despite Self’s talk of creating more shots from open play, free throws are a large part of the Jayhawk game plan.

Shaw, a former college basketball official with more than 20 years of experience, had a difference in opinion with Self, and said he expects the rules to result in more “free flowing” basketball with “less physicality on the perimeter.”

Shaw also answered a question on the how the new rules would affect “full-court, man-to-man” defenses. He said he expected the new rules would lead to a “different kind of press.”

Physical man-to-man defense teams, such as Self’s Jayhawks, play a style comparable to the press. According to Self it will be interesting to see how KU’s physical defense, ranked 1st in field goal percentage defense in Division 1 last year, will respond to the rule changes. Though Shaw’s insistence that the new rules will require defenders to slide their feet, rather than put their hands on offensive players, will undoubtedly benefit KU’s offense because of the athleticism of Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, and the rest of KU’s number 2 ranked ESPN recruiting class.

“I think we’re just really going back to the rules of basketball,” Shaw said. “Let’s go back to playing an athletic game, not a physical game.”

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