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NCAA approves rule changes for 2019-20 Men’s Basketball season

The 3-point line is moving and the shot clock is changing.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-National Championship-Virginia vs Texas Tech Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are going to be some impactful rule changes next season in men’s basketball. The NCAA announced Wednesday (June 5) that the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved for the 3-point line to move back to international distance and for the shot clock to reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound.

With the new rule, the 3-point line will be extended to 22 feet, 1¾ inches. The rule was used in the 2019 NIT, and was met with rave reviews from the coaches whose teams participated in the event.

According to the NCAA release, the expansion of the 3-point line will be beneficial in several areas:

  • Making the lane more available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter.
  • Slowing the trend of the 3-point shot becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball by making the shot a bit more challenging, while at the same time keeping the shot an integral part of the game.
  • Assisting in offensive spacing by requiring the defense to cover more of the court.

The reset of the shot clock would give teams a 20 second clock after an offensive rebound, basically just eliminating the 10 seconds allotted to bring the ball up court. This will ideally improve the pace of the game, and was also used experimentally in the 2019 NIT.

In addition to the 3-point line and shot clock, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved proposals that would allow coaches to call timeouts late in games and see stricter rules around derogatory language. Under the new rules, coaches could call live-ball timeouts with two minutes or less left on the clock in the second half (and overtime periods). Previously, only players could call timeouts during game play. Also in the last two minutes, replay can be used to review any goaltending or basket interference calls (along with out-of-bounds calls).

The last update would assess technical fouls to any players that use, “derogatory language about an opponent’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identify, sexual orientation or disability.”

So how does all of this affect the reigning National Champion Virginia Cavaliers?

Virginia loses its three best 3-point shooters in Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter, and Ty Jerome. A 3-point line that’s further back — even if it’s only a difference of 1 foot and 4¾ inches — could impact Kihei Clark’s shooting (34% 3FG). It does allow for more space in the post for players like Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite, and Jay Huff to operate, but without a big-time slasher in the lane it might not be a big deal in that sense.

Defensively, the expansion of the lane could be both good and bad for the Hoos. On one hand, making it harder to make threes against the Pack Line is a very good thing. On the other, Virginia will still have to defend the 3-pointer. That means longer distances to travel after hedging or more switching defensively.

With the shot clock change, that’s a bigger boon defensively than a challenge offensively. When the Hoos have the ball, they’ll just have to be more deliberate after an offensive rebound. On the defense, things get that much harder for opponents that manage to get a second look at the bucket (which is uncommon as is).

The Virginia Basketball season kicks off November 6 in Syracuse with an ACC tilt against the Orange.