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College Basketball

NCAA Committee Proposes Moving Back 3-point Line



The NCAA men’s basketball rules committee is considering a number of changes for the 2019-20 season, including moving back the 3-point line for the second time.

The proposal, submitted on Friday, would move the 3-point line back to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches from the rim, which is the distance used by FIBA for international competitions.

The committee’s press release cited making the lane more available through better floor spacing of the defense and slowing the prevalence of the 3-point shot in collegiate offenses as reasons for the change.

“After gathering information over the last two seasons, we feel it’s time to make the change,” said Colorado coach Tad Boyle, who is the committee. “Freedom of movement in the game remains important, and we feel this will open up the game. We believe this will remove some of the congestion on the way to the basket.”

The 3-point line was adopted by the NCAA in 1986, and was originally at a distance of 19 feet, 9 inches from the rim. In 2008, the distance was lengthened to 20 feet, 9 inches.

Before the change, NCAA players were making 35.2% of their 3-point chances. That number fell to 34.4% for the following season, but climbed back to the 35%-threshold in 2017-18.

Pitt made 33.1% of its 3-point attempts in 2018-19, with was ninth-best in the ACC and 245th in the nation.

Senior Jared-Wilson Frame led the Panthers and was third in the conference with a 39.5 shooting percentage from long range. Former Pitt and OLSH wing Cameron Johnson led the ACC by shooting 45.7 from beyond the arc. Both of those players have exhausted their collegiate eligibility.

The committee also proposed all shot-clock resets going to 20 seconds, down from 30 seconds for the initial shot clock, to improve the pace of the game; making derogatory language pertaining to an opponent’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation a flagrant foul; allowing coaches to call live-ball timeouts in the final two minutes of the game and overtime; and allowing replay review of basket interference and goaltending the last two minutes of the game and overtime.

The recommendations will be considered by the playing rules oversight panel, which meets on June 5.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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