How many times have we all been annoyed when an opposing defender draws a charge on an MSU player when said defender is standing directly under the basket/backboard?
Well, the end may be drawing nigh for that particular source of annoyance:
The recommendation on play under the basket won’t call for a restricted-area arc painted in the lane as the NBA has, but it prohibits a secondary defender from establishing position in the area from the front of the rim to the front of the backboard. A defender must establish position outside that area to draw a charge or player-control foul.
The Dagger speculates this rule change may be particularly beneficial for our favorite college basketball conference:
One conference this might automatically benefit: The Big Ten. Rarely does play seem more stodgy and physical than in the Big Ten. That's all well and good -- not everybody likes fast-paced, lithe basketball. But a rule change that encourages physical, burly teams to take fewer charges under the basket, where the defensive play has really already been lost, should be a good thing.
On balance, I'll buy this line of thinking. But I would offer one caveat: As much as preventing a player from drawing a charge while standing under the basket creates a more equitable outcome on that given play, I do wonder whether it could have negative unintended consequences in terms of the broader game.
One of the things that separates college basketball from the NBA--and in my opinion makes it a superior viewing option--is the greater emphasis on team play. You can't just mechanically impose a personnel advantage on an opponent in the college game like you can in the NBA. Because the game is played in a smaller half-court area, with a greater emphasis on team defense and less uniformly-reliable perimeter shooting options, college teams can't rely on a single star driving the lane play after play the way many NBA teams do.
The under-the-basket charge creates a significant advantage for the defense, basically preventing an offensive player from driving all the way to the basket unless the lane is completely open. Maybe that's an excessive advantage. But I wonder whether tinkering with the status quo is worth the risk eroding away at the team-play nature of the college game.