Chicago — After altering the rule book last season to try to eliminate physical play in college basketball, the NCAA has made more changes to increase pace of play and provide better balance between offense and defense.
The rules committee offered several changes, including reducing the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds and cutting the number of 30-second timeouts from four to three with two carrying over to the second half. Coaches also can now call timeouts only during a dead ball situation.
Some of the other changes include Class B technicals going from two free-throw shots to one, and eliminating a player’s ability to score when being called for an offensive, player-control foul. The five-second closely guarded count also has been eliminated.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo doesn’t have any real complaints about the changes. In fact, he’d go further.
“I like the 30-second (shot clock),” Izzo said at Big Ten media day Thursday. “We played over in Europe this summer, we played with a 24-second (clock). If it were up to me, if I was the czar for the day, I’d try to get every rule like the NBA.
“If it was up to me, I’d like to see them move the ball (on out of bounds). The new five-second call I’m great with because I think it’s a touchy call; is he 6 feet away, is he 4 feet away? You know, take those decisions out of the zebras’ hands, and I think it’s going to be better for our game.”
The women’s game is undergoing even more changes. They will play four 10-minute quarters instead of two halves and enter the bonus after five team fouls.
Izzo would be fine with more experimenting, all in an effort to become more like the NBA.
“You always hear, ‘Well, you don’t want to be like the NBA,’ ” he said. “Why not? That’s what the kids want.
“It’s interesting. The women are experimenting with the four quarters. ... I kind of like that. I don’t think we have to have a 48-minute game, but 40-minute game where you can move the ball at the end, where every ball isn’t an out-of-bounds underneath.”
Not only is senior center Matt Costello a captain, he’ll soon be heading down the aisle.
Costello proposed to his girlfriend in July during a trip to Mackinac Island.
“She was bawling like a little baby,” Costello joked.
Costello said they’ve set a date — July 29.
The foot injury to sophomore forward Marvin Clark Jr. has Izzo doing plenty of experimenting with his lineup in early practices.
Freshman Deyonta Davis (6-foot-10) should see increased time there early, but Izzo has been using sophomore Javon Bess, a 6-5 guard.
“Javon is only 6-5 but he has a 7-foot wing span,” Izzo said. “He can do some things and his foot is getting better. He’ll play some three and four but now more four because of the injury situation. Marvin was a guy we thought could be that stretch-four because he can make the 3-pointer.
“So we can go small, but we play Kansas in the second game of the year and might have to go bigger. I don’t know if Deyonta is ready for that but he has a chance to be a special player. He’s got to get his motor going, which is typical, but we love Deyonta. He is gonna be good.”
While Izzo has his sights set on a second national title, he understands getting through the Big Ten will be difficult.
Like many, he sees Maryland as the team to beat, but after that it’s anyone’s game.
“I think the league is as good as it’s been,” he said. “And Maryland is definitely the cream of the crop if you look at what they’ve got coming back. But I see Indiana taking a major jump, and then everybody else is going to be fighting for those next spots.”