A Step Back

The most significant rule change for this college basketball year will be moving the 3-point line back one foot to 20-feet, 9-inches. The Wildcats do not think the extra distance will be a factor at all.

It's a longer shot, but still counts as three points.

There's an extra line ... a white one ... decorating the Bramlage Coliseum basketball floor this year as the most significant NCAA rule change for the 2008-09 collegiate season is extending the men's 3-point line from 19-feet, 9 inches, to 20-9. (The women's distance ... a black line ... will remain at 19-9).

Liking the longer distance is K-State coach Frank Martin, who will have his squad on display in Bramlage Coliseum Friday at 7 p.m. in the 2008-09 opener against Florida A&M.

"I think it was a good idea just because we're more advanced than the high school game, so we should have a little harder shot," second the second-year KSU coach.

As for the Wildcat players, they seem unfazed by the move.

As sophomore Jacob Pullen said, "I'm shooting back that far anyway. It's only one foot difference."

Sophomore Fred Brown echoed, "It's not going to phase me. I don't have a range, (pause and smiling) but Frank thinks I do."

Darren Kent is another who uses the long-ball and he thinks the extra 12 inches can help his game.

"It will give me a chance to move bigger guys out and create some space for myself," said the 6-foot-10 Kent. "I'll be able to show more of my offense."

Martin said K-State was considered a poor 3-point shooting team last year, but he explained that it wasn't totally the fault of the shooters.

"We were a bad passing team," Martin said. "It is hard to shoot the basketball when you don't receive a good pass, and we were not a good passing team. We were sloppy with the ball.

That doesn't mean we would turn it over, but it means we had shooters ready to go and we wouldn't put the ball where it needed to be."

Now, Martin says, "As coaches, our job is to get them accustomed to the new line and get them as many repetitions as we can, and make sure the right guy is shooting it."

K-State shot at only a .317 clip from long distance last year with big-man Michael Beasley being the best on the team at .379, followed by Brown at .377. Pullen hit just .303 from afar, Kent .286 and Dominque Sutton .143.

The .317 figure ranked 11th in the league, while Kansas' .397 accuracy was high.

Against K-State, teams hit 37 percent from 3-point range, which was last in the league. Topping that category was Missouri, which limited teams to 31 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

The International 3-point distance is 20-6, while the NBA distance is 23-9 at the top of the circle, but only 22-feet on the baseline.

The high school distance for boys and girls will remain at 19-9.

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