By Jimmy Hyams
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has been pushing for several college basketball rules changes.
He may soon get his wish.
The NCAA has proposed a number of alterations that will be voted on June 5. If adopted, they would be effective immediately.
The proposals range from moving the 3-point line back to the international distance, allowing coaches to call timeouts in the final two minutes of a game, resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds on an offensive rebound to reviewing goal-tending in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime.
Barnes, in his second year on the NCAA basketball rules committee, endorses each one.
The only proposal Barnes supported that didn’t pass was widening the lane, shaping it like a trapezoid.
“I would eventually like to see us have a universal game, more like the Olympics,’’ Barnes said.
Barnes thinks widening the lane would help with movement and spacing. He also said officials feel it would help them officiate games.
“Sometimes I think we’ve got to do stuff to help them,’’ Barnes said.
Moving the 3-point line back about 16 inches (to 22 feet, 1 ¾ inches) will initially lead to a lower shooting percentage from beyond the arc, but Barnes thinks players will eventually adjust.
Another impact of the 3-point line moving back: “It will open up driving,’’ Barnes said.
Barnes said he doesn’t want the college game to look like the NBA, where players either dunk or shoot a 3.
“I’m a believer in, we can post the ball up,’’ Barnes said. “We do not want to lose the low-post game and we don’t want to lose the mid-range game.’’
Barnes has long opposed not allowing coaches to call timeouts from the bench. He said the rule was put in because coaches were calling timeout from the other end of the court when there was a scrum and no team had possession.
“The referee shouldn’t award a timeout unless your team has control (of the ball),’’ Barnes said. “But that was not happening.’’
Barnes said there were two instances during the most recent NCAA tournament when he wanted players to call a timeout but the players didn’t see or hear Barnes. So they played on.
“We’ve got to be able to help our players,’’ Barnes said.
Resetting the clock to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound is a “great rule,’’ Barnes said. “You shouldn’t have 30 (seconds) when you don’t need that 10 seconds to get the ball across half court. I think it will allow for more possessions.’’
The new goal-tending rule to allow for replay goes back to LSU beating Kentucky on an offensive goal-tending call at the buzzer that was not reviewable. The only thing reviewable was whether the ball went through the hoop with time left on the clock.
“All players and coaches just want the game called right,’’ Barnes said.
“You could imagine if that (LSU-Kentucky) had been the national championship game,’’ Barnes said, “and it ended on that play. We would all be sick about it.
“In those critical situations, I think everyone wants to see the right call made.’’