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.