The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a proposal Wednesday to move back the men’s basketball three-point line in college basketball to the international basketball distance of 22 feet, 1 ¾ inches.
Since 2008, the three-point arc has rested at 20 feet, 9 inches from the center of the basket. The international three-point distance had been tested in the National Invitational Tournament the past two years, and the results from the further distance compared to those from the regular season were negligible.
Teams in the NIT converted long-range attempts at a 33 percent clip compared to a 35.2 percent mark in the regular season. The 32-team field attempted 23.1 3-pointers during the postseason tournament compared to 22.8 attempts during the regular season, too.
Virginia guard Ty Jerome shoots a three-point shot against Texas Tech during the NCAA tournament championship game in 2019. (Photo: Shanna Lockwood, USA TODAY Sports)
The men’s basketball rules committee argued the change will make the lane more open for dribble-drive plays from the perimeter and will assist in offensive spacing, forcing defenses to defend more area on the floor. Also, the committee said it aimed to slow the three-point prevalence in college hoops, a rising trend in the game.
Three-point shooting percentage took a slight hit in the 2008-09 season after the arc was moved back one foot, dropping from 35.2 percent the season before to 34.4 percent. The percentage quickly rebounded. Lehigh led the nation in 2018-19 from deep, making triples at a 42.3 percent rate.
While Division I teams will incorporate the change immediately, the NCAA decided to hold off on implementation on Division II and III levels until the 2020-21 campaign “due to potential financial impact of placing a new line on courts,” a release read.
The committee also accepted a recommendation to reset the shot clock to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound in an attempt to “enhance the pace of the game,” considering the offense is already in the front court.
The NCAA announced coaches can call live-ball timeouts in the last two minutes of the second half, as well as any overtime period. Technical fouls will also be doled out for any use of derogatory language.
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