Making a Point (Just One): Scoring Change Proposed
I've been doing a lot of thinking about scoring in the college game. I always hear about how things would've been different regarding scoring leaders and the historical relevance of certain players pre and post "3 point rule" (tpr). No doubt this would make Chamberlain and White and Manning (and more) rise even higher in the echelons of mastery and greatness.
However, this (tpr) honestly has had very little impact on the true big men of the game. Not taking into consideration the hybrid models such as Garnett and Nowitzki (yes, I know neither of them played college ball) that can spread the floor and open up defenses but, instead focusing on the true bigs that make their living down deep, in the muck, under the sweaty armpits of aggression. Shaq, Ben Wallace, Ostertag, Reeves and more (Pollard? Chenowith? Aldrich?).
Now, thinking of rule changes and adjustments at the beginning of each season as the NCAA ponders how to make the game more challenging, compelling and competitive, we have seen things like wider lanes, no-foul zones under the basket, and other oddities. Not to suggest they didn't have an impact but they were, in effect, just tinkering with ancillary contrivances instead of refitting the engine that drives this train (mixed metaphors will forever haunt me).
If they really want to affect change, change the scoring and how it is tabulated. Just like they did with the 3 point line. Why is 'tpr' constructed the way it is? Because "they" recognize that the farther one is away from the basket, the lower their percentage of success. Thus, a higher reward for success if they make it. Right? Right.
So, let's tweak the interior a bit. Why do they always emphasize hitting the chippies and lay-ups/ins? Because they are close to the basket and are a high percentage shot. Why are they as valuable as a 17' jumper, a 12' floater or a anything (really) outside the lane but inside the arc? Doesn't make sense.
From here on, how would the complexion of the game look if every shot that was made inside the arc, but outside the lane counted for two points and (HERE IT COMES... BRACE YOURSELVES) anything inside the lane (put-backs, lay-ups, slams, you name it...) would count as one point. Yep. O-n-e point.
Think how that would influence crucial game time plays, fouls, buzzer beaters and missed free throws. Does the rebounder try for the easy stick back for one point or does he dish it off to the sharp-shooter from 11 feet away? Do you foul the guy down low knowing he only gets one foul shot... or do you not want to risk getting another foul for such a (perceived) paltry point gain? As a defender, do you let the other guy have the point or, if on offense, do you drive all the way inside for a (much needed?) point or pull up for two?
I think this delicate shift in scoring policy would magically convert the game back to a greater sense of finesse and emphasize accuracy in shooting once again. I'm not complaining about the high-flying acrobatics that routinely surround the hoop, I'm just looking for a greater sense of point values that reflect scoring risks and percentages.
One IS the new three.