Friday, May 4, 2007

Time has come to move 3-point arc

After the NCAA championship game, Florida coach Billy Donovan put to rest any doubt that the collegiate 3-point arc needed to be moved back.

“I wanted them to try to beat us with two-point shots,” Donovan said after Florida defeated Ohio State 84-75 on April 2 to win the NCAA title.

In other words, the game had become so unbalanced that Donovan devoted most of his defensive attention to the Ohio State perimeter shooters behind the 3-point arc. Donovan was willing to let Greg Oden, Ohio State’s brilliant 7-foot freshman center, obliterate Florida’s man-to-man defense in the post without double teaming him.

Oden scored 25 points and shot 10-for-15 from the field. But the Gators won because they held Ohio State to 4-for-23 from 3-point range and made 10 3-pointers of their own.

The imposing front line of Al Horford and Joakim Noah played a huge role in Florida’s two straight titles, but were badly outplayed by Oden in their finale. What Florida possessed and Ohio State couldn’t match was Lee Humphrey, the most prolific 3-point shooter in NCAA tournament history.

For the first time, 3-point shots in 2006-07 accounted for more than a third of Division I field goal attempts (34 percent). With players making 35 percent of their 3-point attempts, the 19-foot, 9-inch arc was skewing the game too far toward the perimeter and away from the post.
If the playing rules oversight panel approves the recommended new arc at 20 feet, 9 inches, the post game should become more of a factor again in 2008-09.

Center Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina would have benefited if the rule were imposed immediately. The new arc presumably would create more space for Hansbrough to roam the lane and dominate in his junior season.

But Hansbrough will have to come back as a senior to enjoy the benefit of this rule. And the Tar Heels – whose mediocre 3-point shooting cost them in their East Regional final loss to Georgetown – must try again to get to the Final Four with a post-dominated attack in a sport that will be tilted toward the short 3-point arc for one more season.

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

The change is long overdue, but I'd probably move it back to 21'6" or 22'0" - a foot won't make that much of a difference. It should take truly exceptional shooting - something like JJ Redick having a good day - to make it a factor over the course of a game.

Having the line where it is has made a lot of college backcourts lazy. I look forward to seeing a lot more driving to the basket and actual playmaking.

Anonymous said...

Is this a UNC Blog? Is tyler the only center that will benefit from moving the 3pt line back?