Candid Coaches: Should college basketball keep the 30-second shot clock or change to 24 like the NBA and FIBA?

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander surveyed kind of 100 coaches for our annual Candid Coaches collection. They polled everybody from head coaches at elite systems to assistants at small Division I faculties. In change for whole anonymity, those coaches equipped unfiltered honesty about quite a lot of subjects. Over the path of 3 weeks we’re posting the result of our summer season survey on the state of college basketball.

For virtually a century, males’s D-I basketball did not have a shot clock. In 1985, after some meetings experimented with one for a couple of years, the NCAA formally instituted a shot clock for all of its video games. 

A whopping 45 seconds in keeping with ownership had been allowed. 

That first technology of the shot clock technology lasted for just about a decade. In 1993, 10 seconds were given lopped and males’s college hoops performed with a 35-second clock for greater than two decades. Another shave got here in 2015 when it was once reduce to 30. In the previous decade, there has remained a push by means of some to get the clock 24 seconds, which is the duration in each different main males’s iteration of aggressive arranged basketball round the globe. 

Some argue college basketball has taking part in and training types which are accentuated by means of an extended shot clock and that the ones attributes should not be taken away in the spirit of attempting to emulate the NBA or different skilled leagues. 

With that during thoughts, we needed to see the place college coaches stood in this matter in 2022. 

How lengthy must the shot clock be: 24 or 30 seconds?

30 seconds 50%
24 seconds 50%

Quotes that stood out

In want of 30

• “The less time a team has, the more you simply have to rely on talent and it takes some of the coaching out of the game. In the NBA it is basically a set of quick-hitters. But their players can make those shots. In the college game, our players aren’t as skilled, so we need more time for better shot opportunities to come. I have a REAL FEAR that if we lower the shot clock it will increase possessions, but points per possession will actually decrease because we will all be taking harder shots. May score more overall points due to higher volume of possessions, but I think the quality of those shots will be reduced significantly because we don’t have players who can produce off of quick-hitter actions at the same proficiency as NBA players.”
• “I think the biggest reason is most high schools don’t have shot clocks, and for kids to come in as freshmen to learn to play the game the right way, I think you need more time on the clock. They’re not adapted to play at a speed that is technically a 16-second shot clock. That’s what you’re changing the shot clock to at 24.”
• “Those that argue for 24 fail to acknowledge that the NBA has five guys on the court that can get their own shot. That’s NOT the case in college basketball.”
• “I don’t want to be like the NBA. I like our game and the rules. When we have gone on oversea trips and played at 24 it limits what I as a coach can do on offense. From a defensive side, you will only have to guard one side change on the floor. The more the ball changes sides the better the chance to score, so you’re helping the defense with this rule. I think we see enough pick-and-roll basketball. This will make it more prevalent.”
• “I have a strong opinion on this. We’re trying to be the NBA and we’re not. Our players aren’t that talented. I think it still gives some strategy for coaches. The more we look like the NBA the less we’re going to be watched because they do it at a higher level than us. I think it’s awful. The NBA takes bad shots but they’re elite at making bad shots. College would be taking bad shots and we’re not elite. It’s going to be bad-bad.”
• “I don’t believe that youth basketball in the United States would prepare prep players well enough to effectively play with a 24-second shot clock early in college. NBA players are the most talented scorers and shooters on the planet. European/international players learn the details of pick-and-roll and spacing — as well as prioritize skill development — at a very early age. The undeveloped talent would dumb down and muddy the game from what can be accomplished with a 30-second clock. Unless youth basketball in the states completely changes from a game-heavy, AAU-centric structure, a change from a 30-second will lead to an inferior product of college basketball.”
• “I think [30] is best for the game because, to me, the best thing about college basketball is the parity. Thirty seconds creates more parity than 24. If you’re a fan that wants to see the best teams always win, the 24 shot clock is going to favor that. But if you want to see upsets and schools that maybe have lesser talent find a way to equalize themselves, to me it’s the 30-second shot clock and to me that’s what’s best for the game. Parity is the greatest part of college basketball. And this is from someone who’s been a coach involved with FIBA and Team USA. I love FIBA rules, but not all for college basketball.”   
• “Watch (Nike) EYBL at 24 seconds. Worst shots ever. Need to teach them the game before they try to play fast. Even Jordan learned to play right before fast.”

In want of 24

• “Twenty-four seconds. There is no substitute for uniformity across all levels of basketball in my opinion. As you come up in the game in this country, what you learn about the game and how to apply these skills and within the game should have a direct translation to the way the game is played in college and at the professional level. For the same reason that high school basketball should have a shot clock as well. If we can limit the learning curve from one level to the next, the better our game becomes.”
• “From coaching some with USA Basketball, the players adapt, the coaches adapt, I think it’s a more exciting game. I think there’s more coaching, actually. Not in a bad way. You’ve got to be thoughtful about more things. I like eight seconds in the backcourt as well, and that goes along with the 24 seconds.”
• “A lot of teams practice with a 24-second shot clock.”
• “I think there should be some uniformity across basketball, from high school, college, international basketball, FIBA. … The other thing it would do is hopefully eliminate these games in the 50s, get teams to play a little bit more up-tempo, faster. It’s a more fun style for players, but also the fans.”
• “I would love to see a 24-second shot clock, but there would be an ugly adjustment period based on the speed decisions would need to be made. Some states don’t even have a shot clock in high school, so 30 seconds is an adjustment, let alone 24. Some young European leagues play with 24 seconds and maybe that is why they move the ball and themselves better.”
• “My theory is because of the NBA and how everything is heading in that direction, why not have it all be NBA stuff? Make the 3-point line the same, make all of the rules the same. Why not? If that’s a measuring stick, guys trying to get to the league.”
• “Fans want the college game to be faster and with higher scores, so let’s give them what they want — the 24-second shot clock.”

Some coaches argue that 24 seconds would obstruct the attainable for upsets in college.
Getty Images

The takeaway

Here it’s, it appears: college basketball’s maximum divisive matter. Literally a 50/50 break up. Incredible. I consider that is the first time — moment at maximum — in the 10-year historical past of our Candid Coaches collection {that a} ballot has had precisely a 50% go back for one solution and 50% for the different. 

This query was once brought about partly by means of basketball commentator/former trainer Fran Fraschilla, whose tweet about the matter previous this summer season spurred much more dialogue over a hotly debated would-be rule change. Given how males’s college basketball has wormed its excess of virtually 4 a long time to lowering its shot clock, I believe the transfer to 24 is inevitable. 

But I don’t believe it is forthcoming. 

For advocates of 24, the just right information is there are extra coaches open to (if no longer eagerly endorsing) the thought now than any yr prior. The 30-seconders are nonetheless an impassioned and dug-in staff, alternatively, and they’re going to no longer move quietly into that 64-to-68-possession night time. I do not blame them. (This query was once certainly one of 3 on this yr’s collection that precipitated the maximum opinion and exposition; the different two will put up subsequent week.) 

I’ve been vocal about a large number of rule adjustments — the just right ones and the dangerous — over the years. When it comes to the shot clock, despite the fact that, I cop to ambivalence. I’d welcome 24 seconds simply up to I’m just right with 30 in perpetuity. While I believe the jumps from 45 to 35 to 30 were incremental and certainly not damaging to college basketball’s cosmetics, I aspect with the coaches who say six fewer seconds in keeping with ownership is sufficient of a change that it will have an effect on potency and shot variety. 

Given how maximum college basketball groups play, getting a just right shot off in 24 seconds is pragmatically a hastier function than 30. It doesn’t suggest we should not take a look at to improve once more, however I’m keen to bet the first couple of years (no less than) beneath a 24 clock could be equivalent portions captivating and sloppy. Turnovers in keeping with recreation would most likely hit an all-time prime and box purpose share may dip to its lowest ranges in a decade-plus. 

Doesn’t imply it is not price attempting, despite the fact that.

There had been cries in earlier instances when the shot clock was once shortened that college basketball’s high quality and id could be worn away, tilted in the incorrect route. Those caution bells had been inaccurate. In reality, since the transfer to 30 seconds seven years in the past, issues in keeping with ownership has long past up each season excluding one (2019-20; the yr COVID killed the postseason) compared to offensive potency in the 15 years prior to it. 

Still: I spoke with some veteran officers on background about 24 vs. 30, and they consider college basketball would face a coarse duration of transition. These are function observers who revel in the recreation differently from any person else. One posited that college basketball would in truth move down no longer simply in issues in keeping with ownership, however issues in keeping with recreation. He predicted it might be 4 issues in keeping with recreation, which might be a drastic fall. (Men’s college basketball has fluctuated between 70.1 and 73.6 issues since the shot clocked went to 30 in 2015. Prior to that, averages had been in the prime 60s. 

What do college basketball lovers need? Do they know what they would like on this regard? No doubt there’s a faction that has embraced and settled into the tempo of a 30-second clock. Then there are some who’d love to see video games determined, minimally, in the 70s far more regularly and need that ultimate change to 24. (Would it get us there stays a debate, have in mind.) The considerations over how highschool avid gamers are coached and advanced with no need a shot clock are legitimate. Getting the electronics and era into hundreds of gyms is most likely one thing that may take some other two decades to arrive at. College basketball cannot wait on that, however it is not a serving to issue in this entrance at this time, that is needless to say. 

I don’t believe a change to the shot clock will enhance or lower the game’s recognition. But as the game globally continues to recuperate, as more youthful avid gamers turn out to be extra professional and basketball best continues to develop, the big-picture parley of what’s just right for college basketball vs. what’s easiest for the avid gamers who play it’s going to turn out to be louder. 

Are we doing this for the lovers or the avid gamers? Would a change appease the alleged wishes of each the ones populations?

I believe the game will sooner or later experiment with 24 seconds in the subsequent decade. If a rule change is coming in this entrance despite the fact that, fittingly sufficient, college basketball will most likely want a bit bit extra time on the clock to get there. 

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