Kansas City, Mo. Under international and NBA rules, teams have 24 seconds from the time they gain possession of the ball to the time a shot must go up.
To put that in perspective, it took Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self 24 seconds to answer a question after the first exhibition vs. Canada about playing under international rules: “You know what, I thought we actually did pretty good with that. The eight-second call across halfcourt. That really wasn’t Frank (Mason), that was as much Nic (Moore) not getting rid of it. But we’ll do better at that. We haven’t scrimmaged. We haven’t had any officials yet. I told them before the game basically the rule differences on some things.”
So in the time it took him to convey that message Tuesday night, players must throw the outlet pass, bring the ball up the court, get into the offense immediately and make sure that if no shots open up, the ball is in the hands of Frank Mason with four seconds remaining on the clock.
Kansas has been working hard in practice and in the exhibitions at doing everything faster to avoid hearing the shot-clock buzzer and the coach’s disapproving voice.
Images from Friday night's exhibition between the Jayhawks, who are representing Team U.S.A. in the 2015 World University Games, and Team Canada at Sprint Center.
Kansas coach Bill Self — and one of his "assistants," Max Falkenstien — address the media following the Jayhawks' World University Games tuneup against Canada, an 87-76 victory.
Kansas basketball players Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Hunter Mickelson field questions from the media following the Jayhawks' second exhibition victory over Canada, in preparation for the World University Games.
By the time the NCAA season arrives, KU will be more prepared than most to make the transition from the 35-second clock to the new, 30-second deadline.
Even without the extra time preparing to play faster, the clock reduction plays to KU’s advantage. The Jayhawks have faster athletes, big and small, than most. In Mason, they have a guard who knows how to free himself for last-second shots. Plus, the obvious: A game with more possessions decreases the chances of an upset.
If, as expected, the Jayhawks (plus two) struggle to win at the World University Games in Korea, a shorter clock won’t be to blame. The absence of their top three-point shooters — Brannen Greene (recovering from hip surgery), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk of Ukraine (not eligible to represent USA) and Devonté Graham (quadriceps injury) — and their likely starting center Cheick Diallo of Mali (not eligible to represent USA) will have a greater impact.
Even if the results aren’t desirable in Korea, KU showed encouraging signs in the exhibitions, including Friday’s 87-76 comeback victory: Mason’s relentless growth, Wayne Selden’s restored confidence, Carlton Bragg as a pick-and-pop threat, Hunter Mickelson’s solid play, Jamari Traylor’s improved rebounding and aggressiveness playing the passing lanes, a strong will in finishing possessions and games.