Tuesday, 26 December 2006

FIBA Rules

CIS teams restart things in the next few days and we will attempt to keep everyone up to date on all the games as best we can. In the mean time, the debate to adopt FIBA rules for CIS men's basketball continues to rage on. The opinions on the merits of using FIBA regulations seem to be polarized however what is certain is that men's teams will have to deal with a revised set of rules beginning next season. Regardless of how one feels about the new rules, those coaching staffs that think through the implications of FIBA rules on their personnel and make any necessary adjustments to preparation and game strategy will likely be further ahead than those that don't.

Here is one person's thoughts on how things might be different and how to prepare for these new nuances.

SHOT CLOCK / BACKCOURT VIOLATION: From a preparation and teaching perspective, this rule likely has the greatest implications on coaching staffs. Doing the math, teams will have 20% less time to get the ball over half court and 20% less time to get a shot up.
8 seconds to get the ball over the time line: The temptation for some defences will be to press full-court more. The more athletic teams may believe that something as simple as run-and-jump traps will be effective; others may believe zone presses, designed more to slow teams down than directly create turnovers will work. Regardless, to prepare, all 5 players on the floor will need to be ready to help bring the ball up. Point guards who can go north-south under control will be in demand as opposed to points that need to back opponents down, can be turned alot by the ball defender (east/west dribblers) and/or walk the ball up. Teams without big men who can't help break the press by handling the ball could be exploited more by pressing defences.
24 second shot clock: Look for more quick-hitting NBA sets as opposed to motion offences. Systems that create, find and exploit mismatches much earlier in the possession should be more effective; in many ways, this plays well into the simplicity of the two-man game and the corresponding reads the offensive team makes vis-a-vis how they are being defended. All 5 players will have to have the ability to face the basket and knock down shots, meaning perimeter skill development, especially for big guys will be important. Big guys who shoot it, even if it is simply off draw and kicks, will be important. More teams may try to play zone and against teams who don't have enough shooters, this could work.

4 10 MINUTE QUARTERS/TWO FREE THROWS ON FIFTH FOUL EACH QUARTER At a clinic a few years ago, Jim Calhoun from Connecticut talked about the importance of practicing end-of-game and end-of-half situations - he spent the last 10 minutes of each practice doing this and his clinic came just after Huskies Tate George hit a baseline shot as time expired to beat Clemson off an inbound play that UConn had practiced at least 50 times that season. The opportunity to potentially use these last second situation plays just doubled.
With more possibility to go to the line, free throws will make a greater difference and teams shooting in the mid-to-high 70's will have an even greater advantage against those shooting in the 60's. "Teaching" proper free throw shooting technique will grow in importance - many teams shoot alot of free throws in practice; spending more time teaching proper technique will become important. Gary Boren, free throw shooting coach from the Dallas Mavericks, did wonders with Steve Nash and many others. His site is www.basketballshootinginstruction.com/
Fouling should penalize teams more because of the automatic two-shot rule although some have said that with 4 fouls to give each quarter, there will be more fouls. It remains to be seen how important depth becomes to teams that foul more because of how much longer it takes to get to bonus (5th in foul in 10 minutes as opposed to 7th foul in 20 minutes). My take is that it is likely you'll need to go deeper into your rotation because the tendancy will be to foul more.

WIDER KEY (TRAPEZOID) This new key pushes bigger people out further and in my opinion forces big guys to develop more skills facing the basket and passing. Low post play will not go away (I just watched Santiago from Puerto Rico in the Euro league do his thing in the low block), however big guys operating from the soft corner from where they can be low post, face up and passing threats will increase. Defensively, big guys will have to learn to step out and guard the perimeter. The Jamaal Magloire's of the world will have to expand their games beyond 12 feet both offensively and defensively to be generally more effective with FIBA rules.

TIMEOUT RULE Fewer time outs and more difficult means of calling them combine to influence that the guys on the floor will have to be that much more mentally in tune to time and score, not to mention opponent's runs. Those programs who have or can develop that cerebral point guard: an extension of the coach on the floor, will benefit as now teams cannot be bailed out easily with a time out during an opponent's run. I can see the need to practice or have some type of preparation around how the players on the floor identify and deal with adverse situations as opposed to having the bench immediately simply calling time out. As well, those who dislike the calling of the time out just before one goes out of bounds apparently will be in luck with these new rules.

Whether or not FIBA rules are the right thing for CIS basketball is another issue however it appears that they will be implemented beginning next season. Planning ahead in anticipation of the new rules to properly develop a team's skill set, mental approach in key situations and/or an overall tweaking of game preparation among other things should serve teams well.

Other tidbits from before the holiday:

Here is a preview of the five-team Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament at UVic beginning later this week Vetrie Preview

Pickering Trojans, despite the loss of 2 key transfers, soundly defeated Eastern Commerce in the finals of the Holiday Classic in Toronto as Canadian Jr. National team star Devoe Joseph dropped 34 points in the finals. Toronto Sun article by Frank Zicarelli plus Toronto Star article by David Grossman

Denham Brown's trials and tribulations in the "D" league, where he is one of the league's top scorers Mike Koreen's Toronto Sun article

1 comment:

TwoNeedlez said...

Skill development is key (among players, coaches, and the panel officials); it's a more demanding game overall. Calhoun is right about preparation: teams and players have to benefit from practice and improve themselves.

Precise execution will be key. If twenty seconds elapse for whatever reasons, teams have to get the shot off in 4 seconds, as opposed to ten currently.

Defensively, there are a lot of options. A team could speed up the game to fit their talent, as Wass indicated in his analysis. Or you could delay the opponent and try to force a violation or bad shot. Lots of possibilities.

What about rebounding? Just a thought but if more shots are taken each game, offensive and defensive rebounding should become more important. Maybe rebounding that free throw miss taken after a bonus FT in the first quarter is the difference in a close game.

Note: I'm a little annoyed by the Women's FIBA games this year. FIBA is supposed to speed things up but some games are a drag and take much longer.