North Texas Daily

Shorter shot clock leads to fast-paced offense in men’s basketball

Shorter shot clock leads to fast-paced offense in men’s basketball

December 03
03:10 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer


The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel reduced the shot clock in men’s basketball this offseason from 35 seconds to 30 seconds. It was the first change to the shot clock since 1993, when it was reduced from 45 seconds to 35 seconds.

The move was made to improve pace of play and reduce periods of inactivity. North Texas basketball head coach Tony Benford said he remembers his own playing days with a much longer shot clock and is a supporter of the change this season.

“It’s better than the 45-second clock I played with,” Benford said with a laugh. “I’ve seen it evolve. When it was 45 seconds, we made 45 passes. But it’s been good for the game. The scores are up.”

With less time spent on offense this year, teams will be forced to either shoot the ball or set up the offense more quickly. But Benford was quick to adapt.

Before the season began, he talked about wanting to get out in transition and push the tempo offensively. So far this season it appears to be working, as the Mean Green are averaging 83.5 points per game, putting them in a tie with Princeton University at 43rd in the nation.

“We continue to try and push the pace,” Benford said. “But we have to do it within the offense and make sure we don’t turn the ball over. We have to make sure we give ourselves a chance to get good shots.”

But with a high-speed offense comes the risk of turnovers. Through six games this season, North Texas averages the most turnovers per game in Conference USA and is 12th in the turnover margin at minus 2.67.

“When you try and play fast, the tendency is to have more turnovers,” Benford said. “And that’s what a lot of coaches said. You were going to see a lot more turnovers with the shot clock going down.”

Benford said he has wanted to play a fast style of basketball since he came to North Texas but has not had the team to do it. With the additions of junior guard J-Mychal Reese and freshman guard Ja’Michael Brown to the Mean Green lineup, Benford felt comfortable enough to implement his preferred style of offense and run it through those two guards.

“We have two point guards that can really push the basketball,” Benford said. “You have to have the point guard that can push it and create offense for his teammates. And we have two guys that can really do that.”

Graduate forward Eric Katenda agreed with his coach and said the team is built around pushing the pace.

“It worked out perfect,” Katenda said. “We have fast guards who can get the ball across half court to give us enough time to run the kind of offense we want to. The shot clock is really not affecting us that much on offense.”

The shortened shot clock doesn’t only impact the offense. Like the Mean Green, other teams are also trying to get out and run in transition to combat the new rule.

One point of emphasis North Texas has focused on is slowing down the opposition. This is done in several ways, but Katenda said the biggest thing is being active and energetic.

“We want to really try and break them down,” Katenda said. “Get in the passing lane and make it to where they can run their offense or their plays.”

The shortened clock has also shortened the court, metaphorically. Reese said teams have started packing the paint while switching to a zone defense, forcing the other team to take jump shots as opposed to driving in the paint off ball screens.

He said this is yet another reason the team must find success in transition.

“We have to keep running our break,” Reese said. “We try to get an early, good shot. And if we don’t, we just have to set up really quick.”

Even though North Texas has only played with the reduced shot clock for six games, Benford said he is a fan of the switch.

“Guys want to watch winning basketball,” Benford said. “And people are excited that the game is more up-tempo now than it has been in the past.”

Featured Image: The shot clock in NCAA men’s basketball is now 30 seconds. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

About Author



Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad