Move It On Back

It has been a little over 20 years since the NCAA added the three-point line to college basketball, and starting this season the line is getting father away. Will it really affect the game? Will teams go back to the mid-range jumper? How will it affect TCU? Go inside BigPurpleNation.com to get some answers.

It has been a little over 20 years since the NCAA added the three-point line to college basketball, and starting this season the line is getting father away. In case you didn't know, three-point land will start at 20 feet, 9 inches in 2008. This is right at a foot farther than in previous years.

Whether college coaches are for it or against it, there are some coaches who have yet to decide where the college game will be affected by the move.

"It is yet to be seen, but I think that is a good question," said Coach Christian to BigPurpleNation.com. "I think the guys that can make it are going to make it. To me I think it's going to affect the women's game more than the men's game."

In 1986, the three-point line was added to prevent teams from clogging the lane and just recruiting big men. The game had slowed down and many teams had to switched to zone defenses.

Twenty years later, the game has made a shift from its focus in the post to outside the perimeter. Last year on average teams attempted 19.4 three-pointers a game. Compare that to 1986 when only 9.4 three-point shots were attempted.

Arguably TCU's best three-point shooter this season is junior Edvinas Ruzgas. Ruzgas, who has yet to prove himself at the Division I level, shot over 50% from behind the arc in junior college. A native of Lithuania, Ruzgas has been yet to be affected by the change in distance. At practices he has been shooting lights out. At the international level, the three-point line was 9 inches farther away than the old college three-point line.

"I have two international guys (Buljan being the other) and it's not affecting them at all," said Coach Christian. "I guess they are used to it."

What will be interesting to see this season is whether teams will cut back on the number of attempts. Will the mid-range jumper make a comeback to the sport?

"When you play in an NBA arena and there is a NBA three point line you end up shooting threes behind it," said Coach Christian. "We are not saying that you cannot shoot it because it's an extra foot away. If they come in and work on it and show me that they can shoot it, I have confidence in them to shoot the three."

Last year TCU shot a little over 35% from behind the arc, while making 7.5 three-pointers a game. With many new additions to the roster, it is hard to predict on how the Frogs will be from three-point land this year. BYU led the MWC with a 41.5% three-point shooting percentage last year.

"Players are good enough that they will adjust," stated BYU coach Dave Rose to ESPN.com earlier in the year. "The purpose was to open up the space on the floor. But I don't think a foot will make that much of a difference. Players will figure it out."


Horned Frog Insider Top Stories