Jeff Gravley

NIT on the right track with basketball rule changes

Posted February 23

Dennis Smith Jr. (4) drives against Joel Berry II (2). Carolina defeats NC State 97-73 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on February 15, 2017. (Photo by: Jerome Carpenter/WRAL Contributor)

I watch games differently in person than I do on TV. For one, I get to choose what I look at and not be told from a director in a TV truck. Last Sunday, I attended the NC State women's game against Wake Forest in the annual Play for Kay fundraising event.

I paid close attention to how the game flowed with four quarters of 10 minute basketball. I really liked it and wish the men's game would adopt the same division of time.

This year the NIT will implement experimental rules and there is one that gets close to the four quarters of 10 minute basketball. At the end of each 10 minute segment, the fouls will be reset to zero. Each team will be limited to four personal and technical fouls during each segment. When a team goes over the four foul limit within the 10 minute time there will be two free throws; the one-and-one is eliminated.

That part I don't like. There is more pressure applied to a one-and-one free throw.

The design of the rules is to increase possessions, speed up the game and give it a better flow. Why does NCAA men's basketball need to be the ONLY one to use two 20-minute halves? FIBA uses four 10 minute quarters, the NBA has four 12-minute quarters and now the NCAA women play four 10-minute quarters.

On another basketball topic, Kevin Garnett said in an interview with NBA TV that "AAU (basketball) has killed our league."


"From the perspective, these kids are not being taught anything," Garnett explained.

There is some truth to that, but I also think the NBA is killing itself.

There are way too many players who get to the NBA before they are ready for it. Part of the blame is on the player who thinks he is ready for the league but has a false sense of his ability. I also fault the team executives who draft unprepared players based on potential.

I would love to see the NBA change the draft rules and the player's union holds the winning hand on this modification.

If high school guys are good enough, let them enter the NBA right out of high school. Hold a high school "combine" where NBA executives can evaluate the players in person. If that player decides to attend college, he has to stay for two years.

I thought I would be more receptive to the one-and-done rule where we could enjoy a season of play from these players. Now, I'm having second thoughts.

Even for the multi-talented players who leave college basketball after one year, it takes some time for them to become consistent contributors in the NBA. This year's NBA draft will be quite crowded with one-and-done players. and have 12 current freshmen in their top 13 mock draft. The other player is international.

They will be drafted and they will get paid but many of those guys will get their work in at shoot-arounds or in the D-league; at least for a while.

Let's hope a group of basketball minds can come together to modify the game that will have an impact on multiple levels.


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