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Coaches approve of no-charge arc

The verdict is in and the NCAA rules changes for Division I basketball, a no-charge arc in men’s and women’s games and a longer three-point line for the women, has the approval of several area coaches. The NCAA passed the rules last May.

There will be an arc three feet from the basket. Like the NBA, a player standing on or inside of the arc cannot take a charge. In addition to the arc in the women’s game, the three-point line will be pushed back to 20 feet, 9 inches. The NCAA has also instituted a 10-second violation for the women, but only for testing purposes during the exhibition season.

Hofstra women’s coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey welcomed the changes with opened arms. “The no-charge lane is something I have wanted…I’ve complained about that forever,” the coach said. “I'm just curious about how they’ll call it.”

A defender standing on or inside of the arc who draws contact from an offensive player will be whistled for a block under the new rule.

It’s an understandable sentiment, especially when you have one of the nation’s best inside scorers. Pride forward Shante Evans (18.4 ppg, 11 reb) enjoyed an outstanding sophomore season, earning AP honorable mention All-American honors as well as being named first-team All-CAA.

Kilburn-Steveskey expressed some concern that pushing back the three-point line could “put a strain” on what Hofstra does offensively. Hofstra finished third in the CAA in three-pointers made and fourth in percentage. Freshman Kate Loper finished third in the conference in three-pointers made.

But the extended three-point line does have an upside, particularly for Evans. “I think it will help a lot of kids in the post by expanding the floor,” said Kilburn-Steveskey.

Stony Brook men’s coach Steve Pikiell also expressed his support of the new rules. “I like it,” Pikiell said of the no-charge arc. “Anything that can help the refs.”

The block/charge call is one of the most difficult in college basketball. But Pikiell doesn’t see the arc effecting the way his team plays defense. “I’ve always taught you have get outside of the lane to take a charge anyway,” he said.

And the odds of a referee getting a block/charge call right are usually “50-50”, according to Pikiell. “The call being incorrect happens a lot in college,” Pikiell said. “You’d be shocked.”

Hofstra men’s coach Mo Cassara agreed with Pikiell.

Said Cassara: “I think it will be a positive rule change for the game. It will help protect the safety of the student-athletes, since it will make more defenders hesitant to slide under players who are already airborne. The block-charge call is also one of the hardest calls to make in our sport, and having the line in place will help take the guesswork out of some of those calls for the officials.”

New York Sports