Local college basketball coaches leery of new rules changes


WPSD Sports

When college basketball teams took to the floor last year, they averaged 67 points a game. That was the lowest average the NCAA has seen in more than thirty years.

To bring that total up, officials have been told to crack down on any touching of an offensive player so they can have space to score, which effects teams who pride themselves on physical defense.

"Those days are over, they don't want that," said Southern Illinois basketball coach Barry Hinson. "The NCAA doesn't want defense anymore, and it really bothers me."

That showed during Louisville's exhibition game with Kentucky Wesleyan last week, when 64 fouls were called and 5 players fouled out.

UT Martin coach Jason James says he's trying to teach guys to defend more with their feet than their hands, but it isn't easy.

"Human nature is when the ball handler's coming at you, to get your hands up to try to defend them, or try to force them where you want to go," James explained. "And now they're taking that away."

Murray State coach Steve Prohm's main concern with the new rules change is consistency.

"If you start getting adjusted to something, and then you go on the road and you have different refs and it's different, that's going to start effecting the game," Prohm said. "So I'm not a big proponent of it."

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