ACC to experiment with shorter shot clock

John-Swofford-FTR-051214-AP

With meetings among the Power 5 conferences planned for December and January, debating pay-for-play can wait. The first change may pertain to men’s basketball.

The ACC will experiment with a 30-second shot clock during exhibition games this season, as they announced in May. Much like the changes made to fouling and charging last season, this potential change is to test the impact a shorter shot clock could have on scoring and game speed. 

MORE: DeCOURCY — Don't expect shot clock change | Change to charge-block rule

Commissioner John Swofford explained the rationale behind the decision at ACC Media Day on Wednesday in Charlotte:

“The goal of the recommendation, which came from our coaches and was ratified by our athletic directors, was to see if this had the potential to increase the number of possessions and ultimately speed up the game.  And we look forward to sharing whatever experiences we have with that with the men's basketball rules committee at the end of the season.”

Men’s college basketball currently has the longest shot clock of any form of basketball — women’s college basketball has always used a 30-second shot clock, while the NBA and WNBA have 24-second shot clocks — and many coaches weren’t shy about the potential change. 

Coaches tossed around sentiments like “If the women can do it, why can’t the men?” (Wake Forest’s Danny Manning) and “It’s embarrassing that our women could have that and our guys can’t” (Louisville’s Rick Pitino), and the push for equality between the two makes sense. 

Last season, women’s college basketball introduced the 10-second violation — the last form of basketball in the world to do so — and now, men’s college basketball has a chance to join the rest of the world. That’s how Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski sees it, at least.

“I love it,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “I think at the level of play that we play, the more we should do things to enhance the game. I think it should have it from youth basketball on. 

“A kid playing in Italy plays with a 24-second clock. They learn how to play basketball; they don’t learn how to hold the ball. The fact that we don’t have a shot clock in high school basketball throughout our country, I think that’s wrong. I’m a big proponent of at least a 30-second clock.”

A change may not come any time soon, but discussions will at least begin in a few months.