Comes now Andy Katz of ESPN to tell us that the NCAA Rules Committee will likely change the shot clock again for college basketball, this time to 30 second from 34. Consider:
The rules committee will meet May 12-15 in Indianapolis and review all the data and surveys on the matter from this past season. The NIT, CBI and CIT postseason tournaments all experimented with the 30-second shot clock this past March. The rules committee can change rules every odd year.
“I think it’s fair to say the buzz about the game is that scoring in the 50s can be ugly,” [chairman and Belmont basketball coach Rick] Byrd said. “There’s a lot of talk about it – more coverage than ever before. All of that has created acceptance from the coaches’ side.”
I think this is a needed change, but as I have written extensively, it appears to me to be insufficient, in isolation, to make a significant difference. Yes, it will produce more possessions on average. By itself, I doubt it will improve scoring. If teams struggled to score in 34 seconds, it seems unlikely they will be more efficient in 30, especially now that the defenses only have to defend for 88% of the previous time, which would seem to put less pressure on the defense and more on the offense. That's what we saw the last time the shot clock was reduced.
Before this change will significantly impact college basketball, the officials have to call the game correctly, as I discussed here and here. Until that happens, this is a band-aid approach that we typically see with the NCAA when it comes to addressing needed changes in the game.