What’s wrong with Men’s College Basketball?

Published by: Malik Martin

Recently Mavs owner Mark Cuban, and UConn women’s head coach Gene Auriemma criticized the NCAA.

Auriemma, who has coached UConn Women’s basketball team to 10 National Championships, was asked his opinion about the state of men’s college basketball.

Auriemma responded by calling men’s college basketball a “joke” and criticizing the way the game is been played. The point he was trying to hammer home is the fact that sports is entertainment and fans are not being entertained with the current level of play. Fans are not paying their hard earned money to see low scoring games. He also talks about how other sports have made changes to better the product on the offensive end of the floor.http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/01/uconns-geno-auriemma-on-current-state-of-mens-college-basketball-i-think-the-game-is-a-joke/#comments

Mark Cuban followed that up by saying “it’s horrible, ridiculous, and worse than high school basketball.” You have guys passing the ball around for about 30 seconds, and then trying to make a play at the last second. The physical, slow down style of the NCAA, is hurting prospects that enter the NBA according to Mark Cuban. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/mark-cuban-blasts-what-he-calls–horrible–and–ridiculous–ncaa-basketball-160308391.html

So, Auriemma called the game a joke and Cuban said it’s worse than high school. This is not a good look for the integrity of the NCAA. They both make valid points that need to be addressed.  More and more people are speaking out about the nature of college basketball. I pose the question: What’s wrong with men’s college basketball and how to fix it?

I noticed a common theme in Auriemma and Cuban’s comments about the NCAA. Men’s college basketball is starting to be unwatchable because of the slow pace and low scoring games. Scoring and field goal percentage continue to decline. “Since 2000, scoring has declined 13 times, and field goal percentage has declined six out of the last eight years.” This past season teams averaged 67.1 ppg, the lowest since 1952. In 2014 teams average 71 ppg. All season long teams struggled to score the basketball. This is ongoing trend that continues to affect the growth and landscape of college basketball. http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/02/26/hoop-thoughts-college-basketball-scoring-pace

Now that we know what the problem is, (pace and low scoring games), what can be done to fix the game of college basketball? Some solutions include: shortening the shot clock to 24 or 30 seconds, less timeouts, better officiating, and 12 minutes quarters like the NBA.

The current NCAA shot is 35 seconds and that’s too long. By shorting the shot clock, teams will be able to run more plays. In terms of timeout it takes away from the action of the game. You have mandatory TV timeouts plus coach’s timeouts. Reducing the number of timeouts would speed up the game.  In order for changes to be made, the NCAA must first admit that it has a problem. If the NCAA fails to make any changes, they risk alienating a fan base that is already starting to get bored with college basketball.

 Works Cited

 Davis, S. (2015). “The history of college basketball’s offensive decline—and how to fix it.”

Retrieved from http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/02/26/hoop-thoughts-college-basketball-scoring-pace

Dwyer, K. (2015). “Mark Cuban blasts what he calls ‘horrible’ and ‘ridiculous’ NCAA basketball.”

Retrieved from http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/mark-cuban-blasts-what-he-calls–horrible–and–ridiculous–ncaa-basketball-160308391.html

Johnson, R. (2015) “UConn’s Geno Auriemma on current state of men’s college basketball: ‘I think the game is a joke’.

Retrieved from http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/01/uconns-geno-auriemma-on-current-state-of-mens-college-basketball-i-think-the-game-is-a-joke/#comments

(Photo) Retrieved from http://www.tsquirrel.com/_data/photos/2015/03/6874__ncaa-basketball-logo.jpg

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