A whole generation of kids will now have their foot on the line…Posted by rtmsf on May 3rd, 2007
If you didn’t already catch it, the NCAA was busy again today. After taking away our text messages and putting the whomp down on academic rogues in the last week, it decided that beginning in the 2008-09 season, college basketball will move back its three-point line by a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches. This remains three feet shy of the NBA range at the top of the key, but inexplicably, it is three inches longer than the international distance. In keeping with NCAA decisionmaking, this extra three inches makes almost no sense, considering that a given court could have as many as four different three-point lines on it – women’s NCAA (staying at 19’9), international (20’6), men’s NCAA (20’9) and NBA (23’9).
Notwithstanding the playing surface chaos we anticipate at the likes of UC-Santa Barbara and other schools that use their home floors for volleyball in addition to men’s and women’s basketball (so… many… lines…), some coaches have chafed at the change because it did not also address the width of the lane. Their complaint is that if you are trying to open up the court and reduce physical play by extending the three-point distance, you need to also expand the width of the lane to compensate for the post men’s strength inside. In our worldview, though, anything that provides for less bumping and grinding in the paint is without question a good thing. See: Suns, Phoenix, for a template on this style.
Although we question the confounding extra three inches, we actually believe this is a good rule change for player development purposes as well – and overdue, at that. When the 12 year olds at your local rec center (or this kid!) can consistently hit the current three-point shot, it’s probably a little too easy for college athletes. Plus, every additional inch will provide a disincentive for guys who shouldn’t have been shooting threes in the first place – do you hear us Jacque Vaughn/Wayne Turner/TJ Ford?