NCAA Implements Experimental Rules In NIT
Penn State will compete in the first round of the NIT this week, but the rules will be a little different than the rules the Nittany Lions have been playing by all season. For the third time in four seasons, the NCAA will implement experimental rules for the NIT to give feedback for making potential future rule changes.
This year the NIT will have four rule changes that include changes to the three-point line, free throw lane, game time allocation, and shot clock.
The three-point line will be extended to the same distance as international competition, approximately one foot and eight inches farther than the normal college three-point line. Penn State finished the season ranked third in the Big Ten in this respect, shooting three-pointers at 38.4 percent. Penn State relied heavily on the three-pointer in the Big Ten Tournament, and will need to be aware of the change in distance to get comfortable with shooting.
The free throw lane will be widened to be constant with the same width used by the NBA. Coach Pat Chambers says Mike Watkins will “probably” miss the NIT, so Penn State will have to focus on rebounding in crucial late-game free throw situations.
Normally, the game is broken into two-20 minute halves, but games will be split into four 10-minute quarters during the NIT. Instead of being in the bonus once fouled seven times and the double bonus when fouled 10 times in a half, teams will shoot two free throws beginning when they are fouled five times in a quarter.
Penn State ranked No. 1o in the Big Ten during the season, shooting 69.6 percent from the foul line. This change should help Penn State since it will eliminate the possibility of missing the front end of one-and-ones in tight late games.
The shot clock in a change of possession will remain 30 seconds in the NIT, but when a team rebounds its own shot, the shot clock will reset to only 20 seconds. Penn State averaged more than 10 offensive rebounds per game during the season, and the Nittany Lions must remember they have less time to run their sets after keeping possession.
Penn State-Temple tips off at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game will also air on ESPNU.