By: Jesse Nadelman- Staff Writer
Picture this: You’re a high school basketball coach. Your team is up by three with a minute left and you have the ball. With the current rules in the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association), you’re thinking (or yelling), “Hold the ball!” The other team would be forced to foul. It’s a win for your team.
But picture yourself on the other end of the limbo, as the opposing coach. Your team wants that last shot. But, with the current rules in place, you’ll have to hope for a turnover or missed free throws to get that last shot—even though there’s a minute left.
It shouldn’t be like this.
At the other levels of basketball – college and pro – there is a shot clock to be prevent teams from stalling the ball on offense. In college, it’s 30 seconds, and in the NBA it’s 24 seconds. In a sense, the college shot clock helps the players get ready for the NBA shot clock, so why doesn’t high school do that?
I propose a 35-second shot clock for Florida High School basketball.
Not only will college coaches love it, but it will make the game better. Let’s face it, if you’re a college coach wouldn’t it be much easier to train a recruit to adapt five seconds less on the shot clock than the current system of teaching them about the shock clock all together? Elite high school basketball is about winning, and also getting players ready for the next level. Implementing a shot clock would do just that.
And does anybody care about team work anymore? I know it’s fun watching one star player take it up and down the court for his team each time without sharing the ball, but me personally – and college and great high school coaches too – would rather see the challenge of a team working together to get a good shot off. Players would learn the art of passing. Teams would step up their defense knowing it’s only 35 seconds of lockdown defense needed per possession rather than an unknown longevity of time.
“I just need you guys to lock up for 35 seconds,” coaches could say instead of players getting worn down on defense, and as time progresses there will eventually be an open hole to exploit.
Besides, most teams don’t even use the shot clock, if you believe it or not. If there was one, maybe teams wouldn’t take offensive possessions for granted. I can’t count on my fingers the amount of games I was at, just last season, where teams had the ball up anywhere from four to ten with under two minutes to go and still shot the ball instead of holding it. Puzzling, right? Puzzling, but true.
Maybe with a shot clock teams would realize maybe it’s the best idea to hold the ball to chew clock when you’re winning. After all, doesn’t a ‘W’ mean more than two more points on the stat sheet? College coaches are looking for the players that say ‘Yes’ to that question.
Believe it or not, the shot clock would make the end of games more exciting, and who doesn’t like more excitement?
Imagine the craziness in the last minute of a game where the leading team has just 35 seconds to burn and the team down by three doesn’t foul, but rather play stellar defense. There would be a lot more game winning shots, I can say that much.
Of course there’s many obstacles to overcome to actually get the shot clock idea into fruition. But if the Florida basketball community and the FHSAA comes together on the idea, it’s not as hard as many think.
So, picture this: A new rule that makes the end of games more exciting, preaches better defense, gets players more prepared for the next level, and makes offensive possessions and team work more valuable.
Picture a shot clock in Florida high school basketball.
Where do I sign up?
ABOUT THE REPORTER
Jesse Nadelman is a 17-year old reporter for R.M.F. Magazine who currently is a junior at North Broward Prep. Growing up in South Florida, Jesse has grown an intense passion for sports media. He covers all of South Florida’s top high school basketball teams and events for R.M.F. In addition to contributing to R.M.F, Jesse also writes for Rant Sports, covers South Florida High School football and baseball, and currently holds Press Credentials and access for University of Miami Football games.
You could follow Jesse on twitter: @Nadelman99