Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Indiana Basketball: Three-Point Shooting Just Got Harder

The Indianapolis based NCAA is not doing the IU basketball program any favors.

After shooting 31.2% (311th nationally) in 2018-19 from long range, and 32.2% (307th nationally) in 2017-18, the Hoosiers will now have to hoist three-pointers from more than a foot further away from the basket.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the 3-point line from 20 feet, 9 inches to 22 feet, 1¾ inches.  The new distance is consistent with international rules and will be effective for the upcoming season.

The longer distance was tested during the postseason NIT.  Indiana played in three games during that event and saw their percentages suffer in those contests.  The Hoosiers made 18-of-61 long range shots, good for 29.5%.

The panel also made some minor changes related to the shot clock rules, technical fouls, and when time-outs can be called.

Here is the full release from the NCAA:

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the 3-point line to the international basketball distance of 22 feet, 1¾ inches in men’s basketball.

The rule will be effective for the 2019-20 season in Division I. Due to the potential financial impact of placing a new line on courts, the new 3-point line will go into effect for the 2020-21 season in Divisions II and III.

Men’s Basketball Rules Committee members recommended the change after receiving positive feedback from the annual rules survey from coaches whose teams competed in the 2018 and 2019 National Invitation Tournament, where the international 3-point distance was used on an experimental basis.

The committee cited the following rationale for extending the line:

  • Making the lane more available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter.
  • Slowing the trend of the 3-point shot becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball by making the shot a bit more    challenging, while at the same time keeping the shot an integral part of the game.
  • Assisting in offensive spacing by requiring the defense to cover more of the court.

Teams in the 2019 NIT averaged 23.1 field goal attempts in the tournament from behind the arc, compared with 22.8 3-point attempts in the 2018-19 regular season. The 3-point shooting percentage of teams in the 2019 NIT was 33%, compared with their regular season average of 35.2%.

When the line was moved before the 2008-09 season, the distance went from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches. The percentage of 3-point shots made during that season compared with the previous season declined from 35.2% to 34.4%. The percentage of made 3-point field goals steadily increased back to 35.2% in Division I by the 2017-18 season.

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