College basketball starts this week and I cannot believe it is here! I am so excited as this should be a very interesting season in 2013-14.
There are going to be a few trends that will be important to follow.
1. With the referees not allowing handchecking, and more whistles being blown, you will see a lot of the physicality taken away. Recently, the physical play has lessened the ability to score. It has changed the game dramatically, and now officials are trying to get things back in order. It will lead to many fouls called, so teams have to work on a daily basis to improve their free throw shooting. It will be vital to make your free throws, as free throws could be the difference in a number of contests. Teams are going to get a lot of opportunities on the charity stripe and they must take advantage.
2. With this change in philosophy, teams are going to have to protect their players. They must have depth, and if you are not deep, you will have major problems with starters in foul trouble. I have often said that I would like to change the rules to six personal fouls in the college game. Fans don't attend games to see players perform as assistant coaches on that sideline.
3. Coaches have to make sure that players move their feet on defense. It becomes more important to be in good defensive position, to help draw fouls and to stop the opposition. You do not want to see players in foul trouble because they were not fundamentally sound on defense.
I believe in the long run, the emphasis of cleaning up the game will be positive. In the beginning, it will be tiresome and boring to see the whistle blown so much, We need a more fluid approach to the game, allowing players to show their athleticism and do what they are supposed to do. There have been some contests that have looked more like wrestling matches out there and there is no place for tackling and holding on the court.
You like to see players demonstrating their ability to handle the basketball, their mobility and agility. They should play the game the right way.
Let's get ready to tip off a great season!