Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Shot Clock...Or Lack Thereof

Seems like this topic has had more and more buzz around it over the last couple of years. Some of you may have heard the discussion about it a few weeks ago on Pete Tarrier's show, NH Game Night with guests Scott Hazelton and Mark Dunham on WGAM. After the interview, I started thinking. Why the heck does anyone watch The Bachelorette? But mostly I thought about the shot clock issue in NH High School hoops. And I am very much in favor of implementing a 35 second shot clock.

Last season I covered the Central/Winnacunnet game in Hampton. The Little Green had at least two possessions in that game when they had possession of the ball for at least 60 seconds. And they weren't even running the clock down, it was the first half! The Warriors were playing a zone, so Central was just working it around the perimeter the whole time. It was a similar story when they played at Exeter. Both times it really slowed the pace of the game down and made it a snooze-fest. Having a shot clock would increase the pace of the game, increase scoring, as well make it more exciting for the players and fans.

Hazelton made a good point when he said how many of these kids are trying to get recruited and in turn play college ball, but not having a shot clock makes the transition much tougher for them. It makes sense that to be recruited and be a good player in college, you should play at a level that mirrors the college game as much as possible. Not only the competition that you play against, but the rules of the game as well. Players who are used to playing with a shot clock, like players in Mass for example -when they play in college they'll be used to it. When the shot clock is running down they won't even have to think about it, they'll know what to do. For NH players in college, there's a period of adapting, they have to get used to playing with a shot clock, and therefore have a disadvantage compared to the rest of the team. Schools like SNHU and Plymouth State recruit heavily in NH, but I'm sure they would even more if the rule was changed. And UNH and schools outside of NH, who don't traditionally recruit a lot of granite staters, would likely recruit more players from here. Why? Because the NH public schools would now be playing a game and style of play that more closely resembled the college game. We should all want NH players to have a better shot at playing at the next level, I know I do.

So this should be a no-brainer, right? Why wouldn't the NHIAA change the shot clock rule? Well like anything there's two sides to every story, and I wouldn't be a good reporter if I didn't look at both. The only thing I have heard on the other side of the argument is cost. You have the cost for each school in the state that has a basketball team to purchase and install a shot clock and fix it from time to time. Plus the cost of paying someone to operate it for every game that is played. I'm not sure how it works in Mass, at the college level, etc. but I would think that the same person who operates the scoreboard could just as easily operate the shot clock. Afterall, I'm pretty sure at football games the same person operates the scoreboard and play clock. And as for the cost of purchasing and installing them around the state, I'm not sure how much that would be per school, but I don't think it would break the bank or anything. And I think the rewards would far outweigh the cost.

So that's my two cents. To wrap up, the main reasons why a shot clock for NH High Schools hoops is a good idea: Speed up play, increase scoring and increase college ball chances for NH kids. Afterall, it sure beats watching The Bachelorette.

27 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more.A shot clock would make the games so much more fun to watch,and play.Keep up the good work.

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  2. I think most agree with you Jeremy on the shot clocks effects on the game. However I do not beleive that it would help that much on the recruiting side of things. The biggest issue most college coaches have with the Granite State players is lack of athleticism and experience playing against elite competition.
    To me the bigger issue is the amount of coaches that settle into a zone and play a style that no college coach in his right mind would be impressed with. For NH players to really impress college coaches they need to be able to play the game faster but the shot clock isnt the culprit as much as coaches that are more worried about wins and losses than preparing the players. I do think the shot clock makes the games more interesting and sure it may prepare a kid to be ready for that transition to the next level but if you cant defend your man and understand how to help off the ball ect recognizing the shot clock running out isnt going to get you into college.

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  3. I agree 100 percent a shot clock is a necessary thing in new hampshire high school basketball maybe not at the freshman and jv level but certainly in the varsity level. The only down side i see to it is shot selection especially in the first year i think teams who face zone defenses would end up taking more bad shots because they only have 35 seconds to get a shot up but if thats the only down side then i see no reason why it shouldn't be implemented

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  4. How many other states have a shot clock in high school? I think it is only 9 or 10. By not having a shot clock it forces a team to play defense. If there is a shot clock a team could be lazy sit in a zone wait for a shot from a less skilled team. By not having a shot clock it actually makes two teams who don t belong in the same gym a chance to compete with each other.

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  5. It's not usually the bad teams that play zone, its the poorly coached teams that play zone. If anything you see zone defense much much more in AAU (young coaches with little experience, or little practice time to teach man). Usually the games do not have as much significance so teams don't hold the ball much. But if there is an organization that could use a shot clock it's AAU. High School Ball I beleive would soon follow.

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  6. I strongly disagree with the previous statement that "poorly coached teams play zone." I think a good coach has many things to take into consideration when deciding what defense to use with a particular team in a particular situation. One must consider their own personnel and their strengths and weaknesses from an athletic and basketball standpoint, the oppositions strengths and weaknesses, the overall game plan as well as any situational changes that need to be made. A good coach has his/her players prepared to make the necessary offensive and defensive adjustments that are called for during each individual game. These adjustments from a defensive standpoint might include anything from employing a full court press to playing a half court zone defense. A good coach has his/players prepared to play both of these defenses as well as several others. Granted watching a team play zone might not be the most exciting, but coaches are usually less concerned about the aesthetics of a game and more concerned with winning. In the 2 games that Jeremy mentioned, both Winnacunnet and Exeter used a zone defense to BEAT central (who was the only team this season to beat Trinity). I would guess that very few people who watched those games felt that the Winnacunnet and Exeter coaches did an inferior coaching job on those particular evenings.

    Also I am in favor of a shot clock.

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  7. Not about wins and losses it is about preparing these kids to get to the next level. Right?

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  8. Its about a lot more than just wins and losses and prepping kids "to get to the next level." Its really about teahing kids to be successful adults and using athletics as the educational tool.

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  9. To say preparing kids to get to the next level is ridiculous. Only a handful move on and play

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  10. If we can agree the best coaches are the NCAA coaches. Man teams outnumber zone teams 9 to 1. True some do play zone well. NONE play both well. Teams that play both are good at neither (Bobby Knight said that).

    A good coach can adjust out of there man to guard quicker players or big men. And a good zone coach can adjust out of there zone to take away mulitple shooters.

    Put in a shot clock and lesser coaches will no longer be able to sit in a zone and just cross there fingers the other team isn't hitting

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  11. Some good discussion here - exactly why I started this blog. Some thoughts I have after reading the comments...If you're a bad team that plays zone you'll still get scored on whether there's a shot clock or not - 35 seconds should be enough time to get a good shot off, even against a zone. If anything the rule would benefit teams that play a zone well, as they would likely force shot clock violations and bad shots.

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  12. A shot clock would most benefit zone teams in the 4th quarter as they could stay in zone if they were losing.

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  13. OMG someone other than me quoted Bobby The General Knight... I love this blog!

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  14. Shot clocks will equal more zones. It will force more transition O to beat the zone but it will definately equal more zones or man D that plays with zone principles designed to stop any penetration and good post play.
    If your goal is to encourage more driving, post play, things that display athleticism think about the following changes:

    Widen the lane and/or add a defensive 3 sec rule vs the non primary defender. This will force defensive spacing. Now you can drive in Mass and NH.

    Put the no charge arc in under the basket.

    Call Handchecking on the ball particularly as a guy is trying to penetrate.

    Now put the shot clock in and watch the game change!

    The shot clock by itself will help but without the other rule changes you will simply see more forced jumpers to beat the clock as nobody can penetrate anyway!

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  15. Do the Prep schools use a shot clock (i.e Brewster Academy, New Hampton)?

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  16. prep schools and the isl use a 35 second clock but to tell you the truth most of the games that i have seen it does not come down to the clock they seem to get the shot off in plenty of time

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  17. If you really want to speed up the game change the back court count to 8 seconds. This would make teams want to be more aggressive in the back court and force teams to play more of a full court style game. This may be the way to challenge the kids and not cause any cost to the taxpayers. This could be done free of cost.
    Just trying to think outside the box?

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  18. The NBA is the only league that uses an 8 second half court violation.

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  19. Shot Clock is a must going forward (atleast for L and I) to keep the game credible going forward, it is a much more talented state than in years past. You should petition the coaches in both leagues and the nhbca (holmes is the president) and then either document the reponses and send to NHIAA or have the nhbca request it. 1st. year should be 45 seconds to get everybody acustomed to it, coaches, ref's players ect.then following year implement to 35. They should definetly also request the goal tending arc under the basket to promote more low post play and this would curtail more unnecessary jump shots as the clock winds down. I do not agree with above about going from 10 seconds to 8 in the back court, after all they are still young men and a good full court press atleast in L and there are many.. would create all kinds of problems and turnovers in the back, they have issues now at 10. all in all great subject and New Hampshire needs to change with the times....the Basketball level of play sure has..............................

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  20. Arc under the hoop is not for goal tending it is for taking charge vs blocking foul. I dont think there are enough charges to justify that change. Besides I wouldnt want to discourage players trying to draw charges in any way since it is to me a lost art already.

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  21. the arc under the basket, hence a defensive three second violation/illegal defense.. is there to keep the other teams big men from camping under the basket to defend the hoop unfairly with great big defenders. yes they naturally will take a charge if they are camping under the basket defending the goal.

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  22. Sorry but the arc under the hoop has nothing to do with the three second defensive call in the lane. Nothing at all. The arc under the hoop is only for blocking vs charge call. No charge can be called if defender is inside of the arc. The NBA installed that rule to protect its high flyers from being undercut at the hoop. Contact in that area is considered a block. How many times have you seen a charge called under the hoop in NH? I can count it on one hand and putting the arc there in my eyes would do little to change thought process by coaches as far as zone vs Man defense.

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  23. NH coaches are in favor of a shot clock and there have been discussions with the NHIAA in past years about the process of implementation. Infact 10-12 years ago (not sure of the exact year but it was the same time Mass instituted the shot clock) the NHIAA looked into implementing a shot clock in NH but found that the cost of installing clocks would be prohibitive for enough schools that it did not make sense for the NHIAA to make the change. Instead the change that they made that year was to have NH baskeball players wear mouthguards.

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  24. does block/ charge call inside arc change when you are primary defender vs someone rotating over?
    I know D 3 seconds does not count on primary defender. Does this apply to a defender rotating from backside to double post player with ball? ie secondary trapper still has a foot in lane
    Are all counts done when shot goes up?

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  25. I am not sure about the shot clock yet. I would like to see a trial run of it in NH first. I have been to many basketball games in NH L, I, M, S and a lot of schools still have problems just running the game clock, then you throw in a shot clock.

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  26. Yes, I think a one year trial would be a good idea.

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