Shaka Smart in Favor of Reduced Shot Clock

Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart likes the reduced shot clock college basketball will use next season, but it isn't reduced as much as he'd like.

One of the most notable changes you’ll see across the college basketball landscape next season is that teams will no longer have a 35-second shot clock. It’s been shortened by 5 seconds.

Shaka Smart is in favor of the clock reduction, but would actually like to see it shortened even more.

“To be honest I don’t think the five seconds is going to make a huge difference,” he said. “Twenty four seconds would have been an instrumental difference. I am in favor of that.”

Smart got a chance to coach with the 24-second shot clock during a few stints on the coaching staffs of USA’s international youth teams.

“When they press and get the ball across half court in 7 or 8 seconds, they have to get organized,” he said. “With a 24-second shot clock it really puts the offense under the gun.”

Smart, though, is happy to see some change as his program could benefit as much as any given their frantic style of play.

“Well I think what it does is obviously with five less seconds it gives teams five less seconds to execute in the half court,” he said. “If your pressure defense in the backcourt can cause the teams to take some time getting set up, it can disrupt some people.”

Would a 24-second shot clock be too short?

“It’s 24 at the international level. It’s 24 in the NBA,” he said. “I know in high school and AAU, there are some that play with shot clocks, some that don’t. There are a lot of coaches out there that feel the kids aren’t good enough to make the right plays in that short a time. I’m not in that group. Whenever you take American kids and throw them in international basketball with the 24-second clock they always adjust and find a way to get good shots off.”


Scott Drew, Baylor: “I love it and I think the fans will enjoy it. (Thirty seconds) is more than enough time to score. I disagree with the opinions that the game (of college basketball) was in trouble. I think the shot clock change is one change that fans, players and coaches like it.”

Steve Prohm, Iowa State: “(At Murray State) we could get a couple of shots up in 30 seconds. I guess it will affect the pace of play and maybe increase scoring. I didn’t really notice much difference in playing between 30 and 35 in the NIT.” (The NCAA experimented with the shorter shot clock during the NIT and two other post-season tournaments featuring teams that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.)

Bill Self, Kansas: “Wisconsin runs one of the best offenses in the country and their average offensive possession lasted 21 seconds. I think that most teams will adjust. I don’t think 30 will be a huge difference (from 35 seconds). I think the times when the 35-second shot clock came into play was the last five minutes when people were trying to milk the clock.”

Bruce Weber, Kansas State: “My big question is will it really help that much. When they experimented with the shorter shot clock in the NIT, it only increased it 1.2 points per game. … After the rule was changed, our staff watched a lot of NBA games to see how those teams get into their offense and get shots late in the shot clock.”

Lon Kruger, Oklahoma: “The shorter shot clock is one of several things when combined with other changes will be good for the game. I don’t think it will be noticed that much. The key is getting the physical play out of the game and get more freedom of movement. We tried to do that two years ago and we were making headway then we just sort of abandoned it.”

Travis Ford, Oklahoma State: “I like it going to 30 but I wish it would have gone lower. I think you’ll see the benefit of the shot clock being shortened. Overall, I think it will be more exciting. Players like to play fast.”

Trent Johnson, TCU: “I think it will benefit everybody. More than anything, kids want to play fast. I think it will benefit us because we’ll have better players. The better players and the better depth you have, the faster you can play.”

Tubby Smith, Texas Tech: “There are 351 Division 1 teams and a lot of them have to play different ways to be successful. I think the players and coaches will adapt. People talked how we tried to slow the game down to grow our program, to compete with the better teams. We had to play a certain way. We’d much rather play up and down. The teams with the best players are gonna win, no matter what.”

Bob Huggins, West Virginia: “I thought we had a great game. I don’t know why we’re doing what we’re doing. I’m puzzled with the infatuation with the NBA. I think we have a better game, it’s more pleasing to the eye. The more you reduce the shot clock, the more the teams with great players are gonna win. … I don’t think there’s any question people will play more zone.”


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