As national discussion about instituting a shot clock in high school basketball games becomes louder, the conversation hits a roadblock in North Carolina.
There is no movement among states in the Southeast to add one, said Rick Strunk, associate commissioner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association. Strunk said the NCHSAA would have to ask the National Federation of High Schools for permission to use a shot clock before it would be implemented.
Area coaches still have strong opinions on the matter.
Many oppose it and disagree with ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi, a former college head coach, who has spoken about the need for a shot clock in recent broadcasts.
“Players should be able to think and play at the same time,” he said.
Opponents say a shot clock isn’t needed and would be costly.
Supporters cautiously say it could do some good, especially to train players for playing in college and beyond.
Only seven states – California, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington and both Dakotas – use one.
Here are some opinions from area coaches on the issue.
Kim Annas, Jordan boys: “It’s not needed in high school basketball. Very few teams run their offense long enough for the shot clock to be an issue.”
Pat Daly, Cary girls: “I think that the girls game is OK without a shot clock. I think there is a bigger gap between the good teams and bad teams in girls basketball versus boys, and that having to shoot more shots will only add to bigger blowout victories for those teams. I haven’t seen many cases at all in the girls games where holding the ball is a common practice, so I don’t see the need for a shot clock in the girls game right now. I also feel that the girls game has become more athletic and that teams look to score as much in transition as they do in the half court. Again, no need then for a shot clock if we are getting shots up in less than 35 seconds already.”
Eddie Gray, Garner boys: “I am not in favor of a shot clock in high school basketball. I believe if you do a study of most games, there is usually a shot taken well within the 45-second clock. Also, if a team wants to use the four corners or some other type of delay game, the clock would curtail this type of strategy. As a basketball purist, I hope we do not go down that road.”
John Green, Green Hope boys: “I don’t think high school basketball needs a shot clock. I think that takes away from some of the strategies of teams. Teams that aren’t as skilled can stay in a game by slowing it down and limiting the number of possessions. By adding the shot clock, there would be more blowout wins. Weaker teams that don’t have the skilled one-on-one players would struggle to score at the end of the shot clock. The shot clock could also promote more one-on-one play and less teamwork.”
Allan Gustafson, Cary boys: “A shot clock is antithetical to learning the subtleties and nuances of the game. Players have to be taught (and learn) game situations. They have to be taught and learn that a shot taken at one point in the game is a good shot, but the very same shot taken at another point in the game is a bad shot. That is where score, time and situation come in. A shot clock reduces the need of having to learn these subtleties and nuances.
“Players already have an ‘internal’ shot clock already installed inside of them that ticks on each offensive possession. When a team passes three or four times, or for goodness sakes, six or seven, the internal shot clock goes off, and a player ends up jacking up a bad, forced, or contested shot! Real shot clocks are not needed when each player already has a virtual shot clock!”
Thurman Jordan, Hillside boys: “The reason I would be against a shot clock probably has nothing to do with how it would change play on the court or coaching strategy. I would be more concerned with the chance for operator/equipment error. What happens when the equipment fails during a game? How many times during a game could the operator forget to reset the shot clock? I think it could potentially cause more harm than good to the high school game.”
Scott McInnes, Millbrook boys: “Horrible idea in high school. Have you watched an ACC or NBA game with shot clock problems? These problems are by trained professionals that are paid good money. It would be a nightmare for us with the issues that you see in college with the shot clock. We have no monitors to go watch a replay and get it right.”
Sherry Norris, Chapel Hill girls: “I’m not in favor of the shot clock. If we go to the shot clock, it will change the game, and schools with less skilled players will always be penalized and not have an opportunity to be as competitive. The shot clock takes the coach’s ability to use a slow-down game when their players are less skilled offensively.”
Wes Petty, Middle Creek girls: “I am not in favor of it. At any college level you are talking about a high caliber of athlete. They are sport-specific smart and very athletic. At the high school level, kids play a lot of different sports, and not all of them are on the same level of skill as a college player. It takes longer to set up an offense and to get a player to understand what a good shot is versus a bad shot selection. To put a shot clock on it would make for too many bad decisions in shot selection. I feel high school is an important opportunity to teach kids about the game and to get a better understanding of the game. It should not be rushed at this level. “
David Kushner, Middle Creek boys: “I am for one. Once in awhile, teams will hold the ball for minutes at a time, (I think this happened for a whole quarter in a girls Tri-9 game a couple of years ago) and this eliminates those rare situations. Also, I feel it adds a little more strategy to the game, and I am a big fan of that part of basketball. Thirty-five seconds would be my choice as it seems like more than enough time to have a quality possession.”
Marlon Lee, Clayton girls: “To keep up with the college game, I am in favor of a shot clock. And with the recent passing of Dean Smith and hearing Phil Ford talk, it did make me reflect to the days of when there was no shot clock. But with the athletes we have these days and fast paced nature the game takes, I feel we should have a shot clock.”
David Neal, Apex boys: “I would be in favor of a shot clock – 35 or 45 seconds. We like to play fast, and it would prevent teams from holding the ball and trying to keep the score down, which I think most people do not want to see.”
Gail Siemer, Fuquay-Varina girls: “I am from a state that had it, and to be honest, I think it helped prepare us for when we got to college. This was one of the biggest on-court adjustments I saw my teammates and players, when I coached at a college, have to make. As for the amount of time, I think 35 seconds would be a good amount – just a little bit more than college.”
Chris East, Millbrook girls: “I have mixed feelings about it. It would definitely cause coaches to change their offensive and defensive philosophies with a shot clock. It would affect end-of-game strategies, obviously, as well. I like it because it would help the future college players adjust and make a smoother transition at the next level, but in reality, that is very few kids. I don’t like it, because I like using motions on offense and letting the players make the best decisions for the team. But with a shot clock, it would seem like we would have to run more sets if there were a 30- or 35-second shot clock.”
Richard Young, Holly Springs boys: “As a high school basketball coach, it is my responsibility to prepare players for the next phase of their lives, and if that phase includes them playing college basketball, then a shot clock in high school would assist in that preparation.”