The basketball season starts Friday and with it comes new rules.
Here is how Curtis Shaw, the Big 12’s coordinator of men’s basketball officials, summed up the two major rule changes.
1. On a perimeter ball handler, defenders are not allowed to use a forearm or arm-bar, or two hands at a time, or keep a single hand on the opponent, or continually jab with an extended arm.
2. For a secondary defender to draw a charge, he must be in place when the ball handler starts his upward motion. In the past, the secondary defender merely had to be in place before the ball handler left his feet.
There has been much discussion and much debate on how the new rules will impact the games. How quickly will the coaches and the players adjust? Will there be more fouls called and more free throws attempted? How long will it take for free-flowing offensive movement to return?
While an admittedly small sample size, here are some numbers from 11 exhibition games played by Big 12 men’s teams. (Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each played two exhibition games; Baylor and Texas did not play any.)
In 11 games, there was an average total of 47.3 fouls called (an average of 26.4 fouls per game called on opponents, 20.9 on Big 12 teams). Big 12 teams attempted an average of 34.5 free throws per game, their opponents 22.6.
Last season, Big 12 teams averaged 17.8 fouls per game and attempted 19.2 free throws per game. (In exhibition games last season, Big 12 teams averaged 19 fouls a game and 27.1 free throw attempts per game).
The numbers for free throws and fouls for a handful of exhibition games compared to a full season are in no way meant to offer a meaningful comparison. However, perhaps the exhibition games offer a glimpse of what can be expected once the games start to count.