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.


suttonku 12 years, 4 months ago

OK interesting stuff...but when talkin about big men that dont have range I think you need to remove aldrich from the list because he can hit the 18 footers and when he misses he doesnt miss by much...regarding the no foul zone under the basket or what is the semi-circle in the NBA I do think there should be one in college but I think most Refs in college tend to have an imaginary zone that they go by...I know that when I officiate I tend to not call a charge when a player is set underneath the basket because the offensive player did his job by getting to the basket so I believe he should be rewarded for that...The game is fine the way it is in terms of the lines...honestly with how good players are at shooting these days it wouldnt matter if the line was what it is in the NBA...The game is going to develop more and more great players so I think eventually the lines will be the same universally...I mean you got high schoolers makin NBA threes in games right now...Make the game more challenging especially in college

imnotpaulpierce 12 years, 4 months ago

Let's make free throws worth half a point while we're at it.

JayCeph 12 years, 4 months ago

suttonku- I'm not suggesting Cole doesn't have range. I'm trying to focus on where the majority of points from the true bigs come from. Under the basket. If we address the equitability of point risk v. reward, then it makes sense to have the points reflect that risk percentage, ala the three point rule.

As for the semi-circle, yes, that has had an effect in the NBA and it should be implemented in the college game as well (isn't it also applied in the international game too?). However, I feel the one downside to that rule is that it has a tendency to invite a more reckless demeanor by the player who is charging the basket if he notices that the defender is inside the 'zone' knowing he can 'get away with one' without any official retribution or cost.

I honestly think that by truncating the point allocation(s), the complexion of the game will become more fluid and entertaining (if that's even possible with the best game ever).

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 4 months ago

Jayceph: I see where you're going with the risk vs reward argument, but it doesn't really hold water. Bigs have dominated the game since Naismith created this game. It was always easy for a coach to find a genetically gifted, half way athletic basketball players and stick them in the middle of the paint and cause all sorts of problems for opposing coaches, teams, and smaller players. The game has evolved at an ever increasing rate over the years, but guess what? The "Big Man" has evolved the least in every capcity and component of the game. If you look at the history of the game, everybody else (Coaches, Players, Guards, Power Forwards, Small Forwards) who wasn't genetically gifted with height and being tagged as a "True Center" had to evolve and shape their game in order to benefit from the lack of height. Most guards now days are more comfortable shooting from 15 feet on out then they are crashing the lane and trying to tackle the "Trees". Over the years, Dr. J, Magic Johnson, Bird, and Jordan redefined what is was to be a "Tweener". Being gifted athletically is one thing, but shaping their game to where they didn't have to to tackle lay-ins and dunks on a consistent basis like the "Bigs". If anything, "True Centers" and "Bigs" need to start evolving their games to keep up with the pace of the guards and 6'6, 6'7, 6'8" small forwards of the world or big guys will be extinct from the game in the future. You may laugh, but it's true. I think the future of the game for the Bigs would ideally be ShaqNowitizki in one player. Why bail out Big Guys and give them a free pass when the point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards have put in the work and evolved their games to a high level the last 40 years. True Centers are the only position we still teach to play just like George Mikan. Huh? Every other position is modern, up to date, and will be completely retro as soon as the day is over. Don't change the greatest game ever invented, but rather change the "True Big Man" that is still taught to play like they did back in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. Good Post! Maybe you could just have numbers spray painted on the court like you do for "Hot Shot". I"m just messing with you.

JayCeph 12 years, 4 months ago

kushaw - You nailed it. That is totally my point. Bigs have dominated the game since its inception but as the game has progressed (and now places such an emphasis on shooting and accuracy) the post has remained frozen in time with regard to strategy and game play.

I also agree that the "ShaqNowitzki" mutant you reference is becoming more of a reality too. So, with bigs becoming more versatile (moving farther away from the basket to spread out defenses), guards and hybrids hanging their proverbial hats on the long range bombs, why not set up the game to invite more dynamism between the post, the mid-range and the long ball?

The lane would invite more play inside but, the new question would be... is it worth the risk if I am only getting one point? Depending on the state of that particular game, one point may be worth gold and in other games, the ball handler may choose to pull up from where he is and or dish off to someone for a bigger bite of the (point) pie.

I don't see how this rule change could do anything other than intensify and enrich an already superb game.

4jhawks4ku 12 years, 4 months ago

Some other points to ponder.... How about after say six team fouls in the half, the first point is given and the second free throw is shot. Then after ten team fouls, an automatic two points are given followed by a shot. Seems it would cut down on fouls throughout the game and speed it up somewhat. Also, timeouts should never be allowed to be called when the player or team is peril of losing the ball or being tied up. Only timeouts should be allowed for a team with solid possession of the ball.

justanotherfan 12 years, 4 months ago


I like the idea. This would probably work well until you got to the varsity level in high school. Then it would become somewhat problematic.

There are plenty of high school players that can dunk while taking off from outside the lane when approaching at an angle. Is that one point or two? That's just another thing the officials would have to watch for. Same thing with layups and runners/ floaters. As a guard myself in high school, I shot plenty of those types of shots that started just outside the lane, but where my momentum carried me into the lane as I shot. In a crowded paint area, that would be a tough call to make, especially when trying to officiate the block/charge call and other physical play inside.

In college and the pros, there are so many athletic players that it would be no problem for a lot of them to get dunks or layups while jumping from outside the lane. A missed call on that could be critical in a close game.

I don't think the rule change is bad, per se, but I think that the change would require an extra official behind each basket watching specifically to see if a person were outside the lane upon releasing any shot.

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