When the Baylor Bears take the floor Tuesday night in the NIT, they could be shaping the future of college basketball.
For the third time in four years, the NIT is playing by experimental rules to see if they'll be used in future men's basketball games across the NCAA.
There are four experimental rules being used in this year's NIT:
- The game will be played in four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves. Because of this format, team will go into the bonus at after five team fouls and shoot 2 free throws at that point.
- The 3-point line will be extended 20 inches to the same distance used in international games, 22 feet 1.75 inches.
- The free throw lane will be widened by four feet to 16 feet, the same width used in the NBA.
- The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the standard 30 seconds used in both men's and women's college basketball.
"Manu (Lecomte) loves the FIBA line," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "In fact, most of our guys prefer further back, anyway. So, that's not a problem. We're always trying to get guys to post up in the lane, but now they have a reason to not post up in the lane as hard."
According to the NCAA, the goal is to see if a "marginally more difficult three-point shot will be effective," and if the wider lane would lessen the physicality of the came and create more drives to the basket.
Three years ago, the NIT used a then-experimental 30-second shot clock instead of the standard 35-second shot clock. The following season the rule was adopted across men's college basketball.
"I'm looking forward to it," Baylor junior guard Jake Lindsey said. "I think the college game should go to a 24-second shot clock, widen the arc, go to three seconds in the lane, put some space in there. But I'm looking forward to it, it'll be fun and essentially, it's still players making plays. So, the better team will win on that day."
The Bears are a 1-seed in the NIT and open Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Wagner.