The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 28, 2013

Rule changes threaten to remove physicality from women’s basketball

NORMAN — Get ready for more whistles.

NCAA officials will be enforcing rules more tightly this year. Physical play in the post, on shooters and on ball handlers will no longer be tolerated.

It’s all an effort to increase the freedom of movement for players, which coaches hope that will lead to increased scoring.

“We make take a step back early but it’s going to help the offense in the long run,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “All the coaches are for it to help improve the game.”

It’s hard to argue with the numbers. Last season, women’s basketball teams shot 39 percent from the field that resulted in an all-time low of 62.1 points per game. That’s down nearly eight points from the first year of NCAA play in 1981-82.

Longtime DePaul coach Doug Bruno sent out a letter to his fellow coaches over the summer detailing how the game had become too physical and that making “one change” would help solve some of that problem.

“Let the athletes be athletes,” Bruno said. “People need to learn to play defense by moving their feet and not their hands or bodies. It may be a lot of whistles early on, but in the long run it’s what the game needs.”

Coaches will have to adjust their defense or risk having no one left by the game’s end.

“Well, you can expect everyone to play more zone this year,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “You’re going to need at least two zones or you’re going to have no players left.”

Walz’s team was highlighted more than a few times in a NCAA officiating video that all Division I coaches were required to watch or get fined.

“It’s funny because if you look at it, the highest scoring game in the NCAA regional semifinals was our 82-81 win over Baylor and that’s the game everyone’s talking about,” Walz said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014

Facebook