The NCAA announced yesterday, June 5th, that the three point line will be moved back to the international distance of 22’1.75”. The NCAA has been moving towards adopting professional rules in the recent past, and the move of the bonusphere is the latest NBA rule picked up by the NCAA.
Just three years ago, the NCAA decreased its shot clock to 30 seconds from the original 35 seconds, moving closer to the NBA’s 24 second shot clock. The recent three point line change brings the NCAA even closer to the NBA, which can be beneficial for both organizations.
For the NBA, the move allows for players to make the league change a lot faster and easier. This will result in rookies who are more competitive, and in a shooters league, the new players will be used to the longer shot. Higher scoring games and three point percentage are more entertaining for fans, so attendance would increase if college players are already used to the longer shot.
As for the NCAA, the game could also benefit from the longer three point shot. In recent seasons, many players who are not great shooters continue to shoot threes rather than doing what they were recruited for. With the increased distance, players who are not great shooters will begin to rely more on paint attack and mid range shots, making scoring in the NCAA more spread out.
Overall, the change will benefit both basketball leagues. There are very few negatives versus a lot of positives, and the change was inevitable for the NCAA. It will be interesting to see what shooters emerge as capable of shooting at the same clip with the new distance, and who struggles with the added two feet.