Andy Hodges

Musselman: ‘It’s nonsense’ for basketball to not have uniform rules for all levels

Hogs coach Eric Musselman thinks “it’s crazy” that men’s college basketball and, for that matter, the entire sport has different rules at various levels.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman had a good point Wednesday afternoon.

“College basketball keeps doing the same thing,” he he told Phil Elson, Matt Jenkins and Matt Travis (Halftime) on ESPN Arkansas. “So now, all of a sudden, the NBA and the G-League have become in some people’s eyes as competition for college basketball.”

With the announcement of the G-League Special League it allows players to make the leap straight to the professional level without getting lost in the shuffle of trying to play in the NBA.

“Obviously the money is astronomical with some of the salaries they’re getting,” Musselman said. “My thought process is we need to sell our game to all the great high school players. We have to be adaptable

“We need more rules like the NBA because that’s where these players want to get to.”

Talking like that may cause some folks to faint. Men’s college basketball has always been a little different with two halves while nearly everything else has four quarters like women’s basketball and high school.

Women’s college basketball even lets you take the ball at half court after a dead ball late in halves.

“When I go watch coach (Mike) Neighbors’ team play they have four quarters, the NBA has four quarters,” Musselman said. “Why does college basketball not have four quarters? I wish all of us could get as close as possible.”

Part of the problem is high school basketball nationwide that has a knack for making it up a little different from state to state.

“Even the high schools are reluctant to change,” he said. “The more uniform we can be the easier it is to attract fans and not confuse them. We should all have the same rules.”

There is a disconnect within the overall sport of basketball which requires almost a complete set of rules books every time you go to a different level.

“It’s crazy,” Musselman said. “The people that are making the rules are not talking to people that have played both rules. You can’t go talk to a college coach that’s been coaching at an institution for 25 years and ask him about advancing the ball.

“I can already tell you what they’re going to say. You need to go to talk the coaches who have coached under both umbrellas. Go ask coach Neighbors what he likes best. Go talk to coaches who have coached both college and the NBA.”

Getting the ball at midcourt late in games would completely change what a lot of coaches have done with strategy and they don’t like change.

“It gives the offense a better chance to score,” Musselman said. “The defense now has to guard closer to the rim and there’s more strategy than inbounding the ball with four seconds to go and then going the length of the floor.

“It really just turns into luck as opposed to being able to get your team in a huddle, diagram something with two or three different options. It’s nonsense we don’t have a uniform set of rules.”

Hopefully he won’t hold his breath waiting on that.

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