In 2018, the NIT will be experimenting with new rules. And, with Maryland’s inability to win the Big Ten Tournament, it looks like this is the next step for the Terrapins.
This is actually the third time on four season that the National Invitational Tournament will feature experimental rules. The NCAA, who owns the NIT, explained it in a statement.
The main changes are:
- The three-point line will be extended by approximately 1 foot 8 inches to the same distance used by FIBA for international competition (22 feet 1.75 inches).
- The free throw lane will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet, consistent with the width used by the NBA.
- The games will be divided into four 10-minute quarters as opposed to two 20-minute halves. Teams will shoot two free throws beginning with the fifth foul of each quarter.
- The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the full 30 seconds.
Now, what does this mean for Maryland?
I feel that these changes will be good for Maryland and College basketball as a whole. Starting with the three point line, the Terrapins already seem to rely on deep shots from the likes of Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan, so they wont be pushed back anymore than they already are.
On the defensive side of the ball, this could have an effect on opponents. The Terrapins ranked 109th in the nation for opponent 3-point percentage, giving up just over 33 percent. The slightly different distance could help knock off the muscle memory of opponents, resulting in more misses.
Widening the lane will also result in more chances for Cowan to drive inside, and give Bruno Fernando more space to operate.
The new set of timing rules will also help speed the game up, similar to what Women’s College Basketball did years ago. A half will consist of two 10-minute quarters, with one timeout at the 5 minutes point, which erases one media timeout per half.
This change will be one to look out for with Maryland’s short roster. Mark Turgeon has just nine scholarship players to use, but perhaps these changes could help the team get in a better flow.
All of these changes are being questioned as ways to help progress the game, and evolve with other levels of play.