Because of my books, clinics, and travel, I know coaches and players from Canada and Europe who develop with FIBA rules and matriculate to the United States to play college basketball. Increasingly, I hear from these sources that college basketball is boring. These players appreciate the opportunity to play basketball and receive a free education, but they are dissatisfied, especially with the coaching and the practices. They cannot wait for the season to end, although they plan to play in Europe after graduation. In the most recent instances, this angst has nothing to do with playing time, team’s success, or other issues that lead to common complaints; one player leads her team in minutes on a league champion, and another is the team’s best player and likely all-league selection. […]
There is a popular undercurrent throughout basketball circles in the United States (R.C. Buford, Kobe Bryant, Stan van Gundy) that the U.S. need to develop players more like European countries or Canada. Typically, this rhetoric never is supported with actual plans or suggestions as to the differences between development in other countries and the U.S., and when I argue in favor of some of the primary differences between the systems in FIBA countries and the U.S. (24-second shot clocks, small basketballs for youths, lower basket height for youths, longer high school season, fewer games per week, etc), these same people argue against their feasibility. Rather than change the structure to match the European structure, it seems that there is some mythic drill or philosophy that coaches in the U.S. are missing. […]
During the high-school playoffs, after watching games played with and without a shot clock, I wrote about the need for a shot clock in high-school basketball. I previously wrote about the effect that a shot clock has on skill development because of an increased number of repetitions, with an emphasis on offensive skills, but defense is impacted by the shot clock as well. […]
In my years as a coach, I have coached with no shot clock (boys), a 35-second shot clock (as an assistant), a 30-second shot clock, and a 24-second shot clock (men & women). I prefer the 24-second shot clock. After watching the high-school state playoffs last week with no shot clock, I tweeted about the shot clock.
The shot clock does not make better players. However, the lack of a shot clock retards player development. I coached girls’ basketball in California with a 30-second shot clock. Only once or twice a game was the shot clock really a factor. The presence of the shot clock sped up the pace of the game. The threat of a shot clock led to players shooting open shots early in the clock and being more aggressive. […]