With the Washington Huskies beginning their college basketball season on Friday against Texas in Shanghai, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the NCAA rule changes that were approved during the offseason.
Speaking of the NCAA: it recently put together his helpful video that outlines all of the new rules and emphases for which officials will be watching. The most significant changes involve an emphasis on “freedom of movement” and “displacement” -- meaning offensive and defensive players won’t be allowed nearly as much physical contact against opponents who are in legal position. Defensive players can use an arm-bar against offensive players with their back to the basket in the post area, but they’re not allowed to forcibly move them off the block -- just like offensive players aren’t allowed to back down a defender in order to gain position.
Other rules being emphasized: Shooters won’t be allowed anymore to kick their legs into the defender in an attempt to draw a shooting foul. Defenders can’t “chuck” cutters by bumping, shoving or grabbing them. The under-hoop arc has been expanded to make it more difficult for defenders to take charges in that area. A dribbling player can no longer be called for a 5-second violation.
Overall, the general goal is to decrease physical contact in the hope that it leads to a cleaner, more free-flowing game (and if it seems like less physical contact will ultimately benefit offenses ... it’s because less physical contact will ultimately benefit offenses). And, as is noted in the video, officials are being told to enforce these rule changes and emphases without exception, even when “fans and the media” become annoyed at how many fouls are being called (so the 58 combined fouls called in UW’s exhibition game against Seattle Pacific might be some kind of a precursor).
On to some links:
--- Sounds like 5-star guard Markelle Fultz, who is committed to Washington, might actually wait until next week to sign his letter of intent with the Huskies, according to Rivals.com -- but, again, there’s no funny business involved. Just a logistical issue with UW in China.
--- Jon Wilner projects nine Pac-12 teams will qualify for bowl games, including Washington.
--- Arizona State’s athletic director is disappointed with this season’s record, but says the Sun Devils are headed in the right direction. ASU hosts UW on Saturday.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple