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Len, I could not agree with you more – high school shot clock issue

February 24, 2011

While sitting at Collins Arena — on the campus of Brookdale Community College — to cover the girl’s basketball Shore Conference Tournament last week, I could not stop quietly looking at the  ‘double-zero’ sitting over the baskets during the games.

After the first half of St. Rose’s eventual win over Rumson-Fair Haven in the quarterfinal, I finally spoke.  Luckily for me, I did not look like a crazy person talking to myself, as my brother, Frank, and my good friend Keith accompanied me to watch some quality weekend hoops.

“High school basketball needs a shot clock,” I said.

After discussing it with them for 10-minutes while waiting for the second half of the Purple Roses game to begin, the three of us were in full agreement on the subject.

In the second game I covered that day — Manasquan vs St. John Vianney — also a quarterfinal matchup, I was further convinced that I was right [which trust me, does not happen too often] after watching Manasquan junior Michaela Mabrey nearly lead the Warriors back from an 11-point halftime deficit against her former team with an amazing offensive display.

What if Mabrey and the Warriors had five to 10 more possessions while playing with a shot clock?  Possessions earned by playing a tough 35 seconds of defense and then grabbing a big rebound… Instead, Manasquan had to foul because St. John Vianney had slowed down its pace to 1-2 minutes per possession.  I am not saying what the Lancers did was wrong. They played with 100%  compliance to the rules and almost every team I have seen this year does the same thing…and why wouldn’t they?   Eventually, Vianney sank their free-throws off of fouls Manasquan was FORCED to commit and advanced to the quarterfinal with a 60-50 win.

I understand fouling at the end of the game is a strategic necessity in basketball,  but it shouldn’t have to start with four or five minutes left in a game.

So you could imagine how happy I was to see Len Bardsley’s column in the Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 issue of  The Coast Star titled, ‘In my 35-second dreams, shot clock comes to N.J. high school basketball.’

For those who haven’t seen it, Len poetically and thoroughly defended the need for a shot-clock in high school basketball, touching on every point necessary to win the argument.  It is a must-read for any high school basketball sports fan.

I would love to know what players, coaches, parents and fans think, so please leave comments no matter what stance you take on the issue.  Do you agree with Len and me? OR, do you take the total opposite view?

It was Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who said: “I love argument, I love debate.  I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me… that’s not their job.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Alexander S. permalink
    February 24, 2011 4:21 pm

    I agree a shot clock should be put into the rules. This will keep games more exciting towards the end of the 4th quarter. With the current rules a team that goes into the 4th quarter trailing by double digits has almost no chance of making a comeback.

  2. February 24, 2011 4:47 pm

    I do have to mention, as it states in Len’s article, there are states that do play with a shot clock..

  3. chet permalink
    February 25, 2011 2:32 am

    The shot clock would reward teams that good defense also.

  4. chet permalink
    February 25, 2011 2:38 am

    The shot clock would reward teams that play good defense. There is no reward for holding a team for close to a minute without scoring. Especially when the offensive team score.

  5. HomeCourtHoops permalink
    February 10, 2012 10:28 am

    I’m a little biased because I sell shot clocks but I think it would make games much more exciting. There’s value in a slow offense like what we used to see with the old Princeton basketball teams but fans want to see an up-and-down fast-moving game and a shot clock provides that. By making it more fun you would get better attendance too. Finally, I sell scoreboards and one of the features for schools is you can sell local ads on the boards as everyone in the stands looks at the board throughout the game. A shot clock will be a force multiplier, it will make games more exciting which brings in more fans and it will create revenue due to increased fans as well as ad revenue. With schools cash-strapped right now, increasing game attendance and gaining ad revenue are both very important.

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