Perhaps no team was as affected by the way block/charge calls were made last year than Iowa State was.
In Ohio State's third-round NCAA Tournament win over the Cyclones in March, Iowa State's Will Clyburn was called for a charge late in the game, swinging the momentum toward the Buckeyes.
Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg was happy the block/charge rule was altered so defenders are no longer allowed to slide into the offensive player's path at the last moment. The defender now has to be in position when the offensive player starts his upward motion with the ball.
Hoiberg wasn't sure how much difference the change would make.
“We'll see how it's impacted once the games start,” Hoiberg said. “It is, in my opinion, the toughest call in the game.
“I think it's a good rule change. We'll see how it's called.”
DEPTH IS SOONERS' STRENGTH
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger doesn't anticipate depth being a problem on this year's team.
“I think there'll be healthy competition among the guys in this group,” Kruger said. “We'll be deep on the perimeter and a lot of new guys on the interior. I think the competition for time will be very, very high.”
Among those new interior players are Gonzaga transfer Ryan Spangler of Bridge Creek, a pair of Kansas junior college players — Edson Avila and Keshaun Hamilton — as well as Texas junior-college transfer Dominique Elliott.
“We'll have a young team relatively with only two seniors and a couple of juniors, but those young guys from last year got a lot of good minutes,” Kruger said. “So they've got pretty good experience for such a young group.”
SELF DOESN'T ANTICIPATE RIVALRY RENEWAL
With the first Big 12/SEC Challenge set for this year, it would seem an ideal way for traditional rivals Kansas and Missouri and Texas and Texas A&M to resume their series.
But Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team is matched up with Florida this season, said there was never a discussion of the Jayhawks meeting the Tigers as part of the inaugural event.
“That would never come up,” Self said. “I don't think Texas is going to play A&M either.”