JUST GIVE ME 5 SECONDS:
No, I am not asking you to give me 5 seconds of your attention. I can’t get my wife to do that. And if you are going to read this, it will take considerably longer than 5 seconds. I am asking for the NCAA to give women’s basketball five more seconds on the shot clock.
In 1954, the NBA decided to go to a “shot clock” to increase interest in the pro game by forcing teams to shoot more and foul less. The NBA certainly needed the rule. There were reports of fans walking out of games. The final straw may very well have come on November 22, 1950, when the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. Murray Mendenhall, the Pistons coach, decided to hold the ball until the end of the game in an attempt to score the winning points. The result was a fan base that threatened never to return to another game.
The debate for the shot clock ended when Danny Biasone, the owner of the Syracuse Nationals franchise, convinced the league it was time to keep a team from holding the ball, waiting to be fouled or for time to run out. It was time to make both teams play at a faster pace. The number “24”was used, not because of the hours in a day, but because of a mathematical formula using 2,880 seconds in a 48 minute game and dividing that number by the average number of shots taken (120) in a game. Do the math. With that, the “24 second clock” was invented (run by an official using a stopwatch on the sideline and yelling, “Time!”).
The NCAA instituted the 30-second clock in women’s college basketball in 1971. The men were not restricted by a shot clock until 1986, when they were allotted 40 seconds to take an initial shot. That time was changed to 35 seconds in 1993. The intent of the rule was simple – create more offense, avoid inactivity, and guarantee the fans more action. It, also, intensified and rewarded defensive efforts.
It is time to unify the “shot clock” for both men and women. College offenses today require crisp passes, subtle (and not so subtle) screens, back-cuts, and constant movement. Execution is critical. Why must the women be forced to do all of that using 17% less time?
It just seems illogical that the women would have less time to create an offensive set than the men. Giving the women 5 more seconds would allow them to utilize their skills to the utmost. It would put a premium on passing, cutting, team play and coaching. Teams, which are not as big as the opponent, nor physically as strong as the opponent, would be able to be more deliberate and use the attributes and skills they have to compete. It should cause a decline in sloppy basketball and isolated basketball. It would reward more individual skills. It would make women’s basketball a better game.
AND…. It’s just five seconds!!
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- I hosted Lafayette National Signing Day on the internet this past Wednesday (noon-6:00). This was the first year for football scholarships in the Patriot League. I could not help but feel thrilled for the young men who were offered a scholarship worth @$250,000 that allowed them to play a game they loved and attend a quality educational institution like Lafayette. I wondered if the student-athletes were as happy as their parents. Sweet!!
- It’s championship week on RCN-TV. By Friday, the Lehigh Valley Conference and the Colonial League will crown their boys and girls champions. 16 teams vie for the 4 titles and the games promise to be exceptional. We have 10 games in 5 days.
- Athletic performances always amaze me. The Lafayette women, beaten by Navy 62-44 on January 13, took the Mids to overtime this past Saturday. They lost, but raised the level of their game through emotion and hard work. It was Senior Day and it just seemed like everyone was playing as hard as they could to make the seniors proud to be a Leopard. They succeeded.
- I finally saw “Argo” this past week. I do not know how Ben Affleck was left off the Best Director list for an Academy Award. It is a very, very good movie – a true story – happy ending.
- Men – Don’t forget Valentine’s Day! P.S. “Argo” is not a “date movie”.