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Monday, May 16, 2022

Football

Rule changes could allow point guards to push pace


With NCAA rule changes, scoring could make a comeback in college basketball.

Players will no longer be allowed to persistently measure up with their forearms, and foul calls will be automatic when a defender leaves their hands on a ball handler or is constantly reaching.

Since these new rules involve the physicality of the game, there has been a lot of focus on adjusting to them in practice.

“We’ve really been working on playing defense without our hands, because you’re not going to be able to touch with the body a lot,” said senior guard Tione Womack.

Womack, who stepped in as a starter toward the end of the season, is returning along with senior guard Jimmie Jones to help pilot the offense. Sophomore guard L.J. Rose and freshman guard Jaaron Simmons are newcomers, and they will be key pieces in being able to help the team.

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Redshirt senior guard Jimmy Jones will look to compete for minutes in a crowded backcourt. |File photo/The Daily Cougar

Scoring in college basketball last season stood at 67.5 points per team, and it hasn’t been this low since the 1981-82 season. The Cougars were well above this, scoring 78.1 points per game.

With this rule change, the Cougars’ offense and defense could get a boost.

“We would like to see a really fast style of play from them on the offensive side of the ball, and we really want to see them pick up the ball full-court defensively and help create some turnovers,” said assistant coach Alvin Brooks.

Of the three point guards, Rose is the better passer, Womack is the more athletic guard and Jaaron Simmons is the better scorer, Brooks said.

“I think, at times, each one of those guys will give us something different, and by committing, they are going to give us everything we need at that point position,” Brooks said.

For the fans, this new rule change will be exciting to watch under the assumption that games will be more offense-based, but not so much for the coaches to teach.

Whether the team will switch things up with a lineup of more speed, playing multiple point guards together is a definite.

“No question. I think that’s going to be one of our strengths,” Brooks said.

The Cougars’ point guards have been pushing each other in practice and trying to be vocal defensive leaders and all-around leaders so they can be an extended coach on the court, Womack said.

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