College basketball figures to look vastly different this coming season, thanks to the new rules designed to give offenses a much-needed boost. I wrote about the new rule for my column in the Friday Oklahoman, which you can read here.
Basically, the new rules limit the physicality allowed by defenders on the perimeter and also make it more difficult for players to draw charging fouls.
Here are some comments from players and coaches about the new rules.
OSU coach Travis Ford: “We’ve talked to our team about how I think it helps us in many ways on the offensive end; how we play and do certain things. You can still play great defense, you can still stop teams if you adapt to the rules. But you just can’t say, as the officials are saying, that they want it all to be offense. They’ll tell you that. Now, they don’t care about winning and losing. We all understand that defense and rebounding wins. It wins championships, it wins games. Officials don’t care about that, it’s not their problem. But for us, we understand defense wins and we have to learn to play great defense within the rules.”
OSU senior Markel Brown: “It’s very hard. We play a good and physical defense. It’s going to be a challenge, but we have been working on it throughout practice.”
Ford: “I think this could be a positive for our team. (It will help) teams with length. You’re going to have gap guys. You’re going to have to play with space. As our head of officials said, it’s going to be tough for anybody to press. You learn to press within the rules. But teams with a little more length on the perimeter, guys with versatility.”
OSU sophomore Phil Forte: “It’s different. They’re trying to take out the physical part of the game. They want to see a lot more scoring because of this. We had a scrimmage this past weekend, and it took some time to adjust to the new rules. Any touch on the hip is a foul now, but I feel like the team that can adjust the quickest will benefit the most. Whether we like it or not, that is the way the game is played now.”
Louisville coach Rick Pitino, during the Final Four in April: “What happened in the NBA now is they stopped all the arm bars, all the standing up of screens, all the coming across and chopping the guy. They stopped all that. Now there’s freedom of movement in the NBA and you see great offense … everybody cuts and passes, freedom of movement. That’s what we got to get back to.”
Ford: “It’s going to slow the game down. Going to shoot a lot of foul shots. They fully grasp that. They get it all. The way it’s been put to me, don’t put your hand on ‘em. We had our first intrasquad scrimmage, with Big 12 referees, and we had a 30-minute scrimmage, played three 10-minute quarters. We had 70 fouls called.”
OSU sophomore Marcus Smart, on if experience helps with the changes: “With that experience, we can understand the rules and know that when guys play us, there are going to be a lot of exotic zones and defenses against us. We can keep our team calm and collective. I heard this one saying, someone said, ‘What is pressure?’ Pressure is not knowing what you’re doing. With that experience, you know what you’re doing, so pressure is taken out of the equation.”
Ford: “This is more drastic (than football’s new targeting rule). The referees are settling in. This is not an emphasis. It is a rule. They put it in a rule book. If you touch the ballhandler, it’s a foul.”