College Sports

College basketball’s three-point line is going international. So, who benefits?

James Naismith’s original 13 rules of basketball: Can you name them?

James Naismith’s original rules of basketball, written in 1891, are displayed at the University of Kansas' DeBruce Center, adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse. Though many of the founding rules do not apply to today’s game, the 13th and final one comes c
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James Naismith’s original rules of basketball, written in 1891, are displayed at the University of Kansas' DeBruce Center, adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse. Though many of the founding rules do not apply to today’s game, the 13th and final one comes c

It’s official: College basketball’s three-point line is going international.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the three-point line for Division I to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 1 3/4 inches for the upcoming (2019-20) season. That’s about 15 inches beyond the previous distance of 20 feet, 9 inches.

The women’s college basketball distance will remaing at 20-9. Men’s Divisions II and III will move to the international stripe in the 2020-21 season.

Last season’s NIT, won by Texas, was played with an international three-point line. Teams averaged 23.1 attempts from beyond the arc, compared to 22.8 attempts during the regular season. NIT teams made 33% of the deeper three compared to a regular-season average of 35.2 percent.

Who could benefit from the new rule? How about a team that figures to have strong low-post play ... like Kansas.

The Jayhawks made 35% of their threes last season, but their top shooters from distance, Lagerald Vick (45.5%) and Dedric Lawson (39.3%) won’t back.

Among KU’s returning players who attempted at least 45 three pointers are Devon Dotson (36.3%), Ochai Agbaji (30.7%) and Marcus Garrett (24.5%). If there’s a season to emphasize low-post play, which could play to Kansas’ strength with the return of Udoka Azuibuke and Silvio De Sousa, it’s in the year when the three-pointer should be more difficult to convert.

Kansas State returns its top three-pointer shooter. Cartier Diarra hit 36.5% for the Wildcats, who made 33.4% as a team.

Missouri’s top returning three-point shooter is Mark Smith, who was hitting 45% when his season ended in late January with foot surgery. The Tigers hit 36.3% as a team.

Also approved for next season: The shot clock will be reset to 20 seconds after a field-goal attempt hits the rim and is rebounded by the offensive team. Previously, teams got a fresh 30 seconds with the miss. This was another experimental rule during the NIT.

Also, coaches can call live-ball timeouts in the final two minutes of the second half or the last two minutes of any overtime period. Previously, only players could call a live timeout during the game.

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