As basketball season is about to tip-off, I’ll be trying to keep you updated on things around the league as well as the happenings with our beloved Red Raiders. Last week I got to chat with Keenan Evans, and that was a huge wave of fun. I hope you got a chance to check out that very awesome Q&A. This week, there are a lot of people throwing around opinions on preseason rankings, etc. Yet, I ran across this article in The Mercury out of Manhattan, Kansas. It focused at the top about Cartier Diarra and a three-point shot that with the new college basketball rule changes would be waived off. It also had a bundle of insight on how the step-back would be enforced by the Big 12…
At the conference’s media day last week, Big 12 coordinator of officials Curtis Shaw announced a number of rule changes coming to college basketball this season. One of them: On step-back moves, players must land with both feet at the same time. Now, it’s a travel if a player steps back and lands with one foot after the other.
“What we’ve told the teams is all step-back moves are going to be called travels except if he can push off one and simultaneously jump back and land on two at the same time,” Shaw said. “If you push off one, land one, two, we want it called every time because it’s indefensible. We want it taken out of the game.”
We have all seen it done before on the court, and this will impact the players on Texas Tech all differently depending on their shot. Some of the players square up, but for many the step back and gather step to gain an advantage (spacing) on their jumper is part of their technique that has been acquired since learning that it as part of the game. Well, now that it is not legal that can change things up with your shot. I am afraid we are going to see a bundle more of these traveling calls this season in college basketball. The scary part will be how inconsistent the calls will be by the refs, or if the call happens on a critical play with little time on the clock remaining in the game.
Other thoughts around the league per the The Mercury –
Haliburton and TCU coach Jamie Dixon agreed on this: Maybe officials won’t enforce the rule as strictly as currently advertised. If they do, Haliburton says he’ll change his game accordingly. Just not until then. “It’s one thing to do a ‘James Harden step-back,’” Haliburton said, “and it’s another thing if you’re just stopping and moving back. That’s two different things. Again, I’m interested to see how it’s monitored. I think it’s basketball. A step-back is part of the game. I’m interested to see how it’s implemented.”
“Now, if they call a travel, you’re in real big trouble,” Dixon said. “I’ve never liked the step-back. It’s a low-percentage shot. Just because one guy (Harden), the best player in the world, can make that shot at a decent rate doesn’t mean a guy that’s not the best player in the world can make it. It’s always been a tough shot.”
From ISU head coach – “That’s a huge deal,” said Prohm, who added that the change has forced his coaching staff to discourage players from working on the move. “You’re really taking away a skill set they’ve been working on for years. There’s some gray area there when you watch the refereeing on tape, but that’s the rule. So now you’ve got to coach your kids that way.”
As for our Red Raiders, we will see how it affects them and their jumpers. This is something to track, and as Prohm had said, it’s a “gray area”. So, watching how the officials are calling this will be something to keep your eyes on this season. Beard and staff will coach our guys up on the rule change, but the way the refs handle calling it on the floor will be a whole other issue.