Behind the Mic, Featured, Sports

Behind the Mic: The Shot Clock

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The college basketball rules committee is meeting this week to discuss shortening the shot clock for men’s basketball. As I am sure you know, the current shot clock for men is :35 seconds and, ironically, for women it is :30 seconds. I have already written that I feel that the shot clock for women should be the same as for men, certainly not shorter. Now, do I like the idea of the men going to a shorter shot clock?

First, let’s look at the reasons for the discussion. The average scoring this year was 67.5 points, the lowest since 1952. There was also a great deal of complaining that the games lacked action and were boring.

There are two possible reasons for these stats and the complaints. Perhaps there are fewer shots, less shooting talent, better defense, poorer officiating, etc. Obviously, there are many more potential reasons than just having to put up more shots because the clock demands it. It seems like so many bad shots are taken now. The average shooting percentage this year was the lowest in 48 years. The defense is certainly emphasized more than ever and allowed to be more physical. In fact, I would argue that officials are letting much more go on defense. Statistics show that fewer fouls were called this past season than any NCAA season since the stats have been kept. Many college coaches firmly believe that scoring is down simply because of the way the college game is officiated.

I agree with the coaches. The shot clock does not need tampering. It is time to officiate the game as it should be and the game will change. Reward offenses that work for a good shot, not a desperate one. The physical play of college basketball is in two words, too physical!! Call the fouls that should be called and defenses will adjust. Scoring will go up if much of the pushing and shoving is eliminated.

If the NCAA wants to change the shot clock, take a closer look at women’s basketball.


1. Sergio and Tiger had a war of words this past week in The Player’s Championship. Sergio accused Tiger of not being very well liked on the tour and Tiger accused Sergio of being a whiner. Finally, a little bit of NASCAR in golf. I like it! PS – I bet both golfers were probably right about the other.

2. I have been on vacation the past two weeks and, for the most part, away from news and sports. Good food and good times take the place of reality quite nicely.

3. The sport that was most available during my vacation was soccer. I just don’t get it. Looks like fun to play, but I just cannot get excited about one goal every 45 minutes or so. Shorten the field, eliminate off-sides (think basketball fast-break here), take a few players off the field and you will have more goals and more excitement.

4. I want to thank Scott Barr and Randy Kane for being guest bloggers the last two weeks. Wrestling and auto racing were their topics. It was nice to give those sports some space here.

5. It is good to be back at the desk and I am looking forward to the LVC high school baseball championship this week. Behind the mic is where I like to be.