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.