No More Hand Checking

johnson and crawford

College basketball will take a different route this upcoming season concerning defense. Who will it affect? How will it affect the sport? Those questions will be answered as the season gets going. As for senior guard Joe Jackson and coach Pastner, they will have to adjust to the new rules.

Remember when players could hand-check their opponents? Well, that will no longer be allowed in college basketball. If so, then it will result in a foul being called. Curtis Shaw, coordinator of the American Athletic Conference, spoke on the matter during a 15-minute presentation.

“To me, this is the best potential thing that could come to the game,” Shaw told the players. “What the powers that be are trying to do is free the game up. You’re great athletes. We want you to be great basketball players.”

Teams have been scoring in the low 70’s and high 60’s lately. Last season, teams averaged 67.5 points a game and shot 43.3 percent from the field. Both of these averages are the lowest since 1952 and 1965, respectively.

Here are the new rules:

Defensive players will be called for a foul if

1. They keep a hand or forearm on the dribbler

2. Put two hands on the dribbler

3. Continually jab at the dribbler with a hand or forearm

4. Use an arm bar to impede his progress

During the offseason, Jackson has been practicing with the fact that defensive guys will hand-check him at all times during the season. Jackson wasn’t expecting for the rules to change, but he seemed happy with the new rules.

“Well, I’ve been working all summer with the pads for hand-checking. That’s what I’ve been playing for,” said Jackson. “So if you ain’t gonna be able to touch me? Then I’m just leaving it up to God.”

The new rules are suppose to contribute to high scoring games, but according to Seth Greenberg from ESPN, they may not happen.

“If they’re going to call it the way it’s supposed to be called and the coaches do not adjust, we’re not fitting games in two-hour windows. It may become a free-throw shooting contest,” said Greenberg. “I’m not sure it’s going to help scoring as much as maybe it’s perceived, unless it’s obviously carried over throughout the year.

The Memphis Tigers have had officials at their practices trying to adjust to the new rules. Pastner feels that his team has benefited from the refs being active at practice.

“I think Josh is really benefiting his team by having the officials there on his practices and calling it like we’re going to call it in the season. You can see the players are already adjusting. Now you can see them pull back,” said John St. Clair, a Division 1 basketball official from Memphis.

“We’re going to have to adjust, as is everybody else,” said Pastner.

I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.

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