The shot-clock debate: How low should we go?

It is widely believed that it is almost fact that the shot clock will be reduced from 35 seconds to 30 seconds by next season.  NCAA rules committee chairman Rick Byrd, who is also the coach at Belmont, said that the move is likely to happen.

Until 1985, there was no shot clock at all in college basketball. Due to the lack of scoring, the NCAA adopted the 45-second shot clock in 1985. This is the same complaint we are hearing about today. The shot clock has been at 35 seconds since the start of the 1993 season, but people continue to say that games in the 50s are just boring to watch.

I disagree with the argument that games taken place this year were boring. The NIT, CIT and CBI postseason tournaments all experimented with the 30-second shot clock last year. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see any games that were just lighting up the scoreboard anymore than the games with the 35-second shot clock.  I’m sorry, but there is no argument that could sway me to say that the NCAA tournament this year was boring.  And if you say that there was a lack of scoring, did you see the BYU-Ole Miss First Four game?  That game finished with the score of 94-90.

Maybe athletes are buying into defense more than they did before. With the amount if defensive presence inside at some of the schools, it wouldn’t matter the length that teams held the ball. You could also end up with teams that are trying to upset a team fall just short of victory with the game being lengthened. Teams could take more shots if the shot clock was lower, but who is to say that they would end up taking smarter shots?

Additionally, will the shot clock just not be reduced again in years to come? If we started at 45 seconds and are at 30, then the trend is continuing down. If we keep going, how low is enough? I suggest if you want to just see exciting things in college basketball, watch the dunk contest and 3-point contest.

If the shot clock is going to be reduced though, I think that it should be taken down to 24 to match the NBA. An 11 second difference in shot clock would be more of a scoring difference than the suggested 5. Plus, the players would not have to adjust to the drastic difference at the next level.

But, the move will be to a 30-second shot clock. We will have to wait and see the full effect next season.

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