College basketball coaches will have 10 more feet to wander this fall

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber briefly left the coaches’ box during a Big 12 Tournament game in March. The box will be extended 10 feet to 38 feet this season. | Chris Fickett |

By Blair Kerkhoff

College basketball likes the direction of its game — scoring and shooting percentages continued to increase in 2016-17 — so no major changes were made to the rule book.

Among those you’ll notice next season:

▪ The coaches box will be extended from 28 to 38 feet to give coaches better opportunity to communicate with their teams — or officials.

▪ The shot clock will be reset to 20 seconds when the ball in inbounded in the front court after a foul or other violation by the defense. If more than 20 seconds remains, the shot clock won’t be reset.

▪ A mandatory minimum of 0.3 seconds will be taken off the game clock when the ball is legally touched.

▪ Redefined a legal screen to require that the inside of the screener’s feet be no wider than his shoulders.

Changes made by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee over the past two seasons to increase production have worked. Last season, Division I teams averaged 73.4 points per game, an 8.7 percent increase over the 2012-13 season. The point total and field-goal percentage (44.4 percent) are the highest since 1994-95.

The rules committee discussed other changes such as widening the free-throw lane from 12 to 16 feet and moving the three-point arc back from its current distance of 20 feet, 9 inches. The committee will encourage conferences to experiment with these concepts next season.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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