The NCAA is changing the way collegiate basketball is played. These changes will take place in this year’s 2019 – 20 season for Division I, but Divisions II and III are holding off until the 2020 – 21 season. The Hillsdale College Chargers, however, have already begun to prepare.
One of the two major changes to come is the extension of the 3-point line from 20 feet, 9 inches to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches.
Head men’s basketball coach John Tharp said he thinks this will be a good change to the game.
“It won’t affect the top 3-point shooters,” he said. “It’ll actually help us because more spacing will create more opportunities to drive that we can take advantage of.”
The extension of the 3-point line will also create a more universal game across the globe, as the NBA and Eurpoean leagues use this same mark.
“On some of our trips overseas, it didn’t affect our guys as much as it helped them,” Tharp said.
This new line won’t be much of a surprise the the Chargers. This summer Tharp worked with the athletic department to start preparations.
“We talked about the court changes and put the lines on the middle court and practice court so we’ll be ready to practice on them this spring when our season’s over,” Tharp said. “We didn’t put them on the game court quite yet.”
Sophomore Peter Kalthoff said the spacing created by the new rule should benefit the Chargers’ offense.
“The new 3-point line quite possibly could allow for greater spacing on the floor which might help our offense flow, however, every other team will have that similar opportunity,” he said.
Another major change to the game is the way the shot clock is run. Previously, once the offense has shot the ball, missed, and grabbed the rebound off the rim, the clock reset to 30 seconds. Now, teams will have 30 seconds on their first offensive play, but once they shoot and miss, it will only reset to 20 seconds.
This is something else that won’t be unfamiliar to the Chargers, as Tharp said he’s prepared them for situations like this in the past.
“When the ball comes off the rim, it’s important to attack the defense, whether it’s going right back up with it or kicking it out to the 3-point line,” Tharp said. It’ll take some getting used to, so we’ll start practicing that right away.”
The Chargers still have one more season to play and prepare for these upcoming changes. Kalthoff said he’s looking forward to new opportunities.
“We might have to overcome a slight change first,” he said, “but we do say strength rejoices in the challenge here so we’ll see what happens and plan to make the best out of it.”