Rule changes right up LSU's alley

The latest proposed rule changes to NCAA basketball will only further the style of play Johnny Jones is trying to foster at LSU, TSD's Ben Love writes.

The latest proposed rule changes in college basketball suit LSU just fine.

Among the package of proposals the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee has approved, which now must be ratified by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on June 8, the most noteworthy is the move to reduce the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds.

The shot clock hasn’t budged in the college game since it went to 35 seconds from 45 back in 1993-94.

Back then the Arkansas Razorbacks were in their heyday, pressing opponents like crazy and upping the tempo. These days the Hogs are playing a similar style under familiar face Mike Anderson, scoring in bunches and getting up a high number of shot attempts.

So too are the LSU Tigers.

During this past 2014-15 season, Johnny Jones’ crew ranked third in the SEC in scoring at 73.7 points per game and attempted more field goals (59.4/game) than any conference team aside from Arkansas (61.3/game).

Flip the page again to the 2013-14 campaign, and it’s clear this is a trend and intentional style of play from LSU under Jones.

In that season, Jones’ second, LSU ranked fourth in the SEC in scoring at 75.1 points per game and again attempted more field goals (61.1/game) than any SEC team aside from Arkansas (right on that 61.3/game number again).

So the Bayou Bengals, and Razorbacks for that matter, will be tickled pink should this shot-clock reduction go through.

The objective of this rule change and the others proposed, per the NCAA, is to “significantly improve the pace of play, better balance offense and defense and reduce the physicality in the sport.”

Pace of play for LSU hasn’t been an issue. It’ll now be up to the team’s foes, in particularly those that tend to specialize in mucking up the game, to adjust and catch up.

As for the other proposed changes, the two that merit mention are expanding the restricted arc to four feet from three and a plethora of alterations to timeout rules.

The former is a great idea across the board for the sport, designed to reduce collisions near or under the basket.

From a purple-and-gold perspective, this lessening in the physicality of the game couldn’t come at a better time, as the 2015-16 squad will be very heavy on guards and wings and noticeably light in the pants down low.

The proposed timeout changes are highlighted by the following: Any timeout called within 30 seconds of a planned media timeout, before or after, will turn into the media timeout . . . Only three timeouts can be carried over into the second half . . . One timeout from the second half will be removed . . . Coaches can’t call a timeout when the ball is live.

The way Jones likes to collect and protectively hold onto timeouts like young kids do baseball cards relegates these changes to fairly unimportant from an LSU angle.

If anything, since they’re designed to increase pace of play in general, they’ll foster a faster-moving game with less interruptions, which is exactly how Jones wants to script it.

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