100 Questions: Impact of new 3-point line?
***Yesterday's Question HERE***
In an attempt to pass the time this off-season we're fortunate to have secured the help of scottwildcat from Boscoe's Boys. Scott is going to provide 100 questions about the past, present, future (and who-knows-what) involving Kansas State sports, and I'll do my very best to answer them.
Let's dive in to the 100 Questions.
Question 80: How will the move back of the three-point line impact the 2019-20 Kansas State basketball team?
If you were unaware, in this coming season the men's 3-point line moves to the international distance of 22 feet, 1¾ inches. Last season the 3-point line was 20 feet, 9 inches. Roughly a decade ago it was 19 feet, 9 inches until the 2008-09 season.
I knew Scott sent me this question some time ago, so when we got a chance to meet with Bruce Weber and company on Wednesday I was determined to pose the question to K-State's head coach and let him do the work for me.
After all, Weber just finished up coaching the U19 Team USA squad to a Gold Medal playing at that particular 3-point line.
Here's his full answer to my question asking how it could impact K-State and what he learned.
"We did not shoot very well. If you look at the stats, it's not very good. Even the international teams didn't shoot well, which kind of surprised me, because that was my biggest fear, dealing with their threes. I hope some of it was our defense; we got to them really quick. I thought it really effected the younger, high school guys. (Iowa State sophomore) Tyrese Haliburton, it's nine inches, he's still making them. What was he, like 58 percent? But those high school guys... then I watched them play in some events this weekend and they shot it better. One guy made six, and he didn't make six the whole time we were together. It will be interesting. It does spread the court. I think that's the main object of it, to give more spacing and allow driving, hopefully more scoring. That was something we talked about, making long close outs and then using your athleticism to make plays and get by, get to the basket or to kick it for that better shot. If the indication from what we had, I'm a little worried from how we shot the basketball."
Now, some notes.
When Weber says, "a little worried," what he means is he was surprised with how poorly Team USA shot the 3-pointer, and he's expressing a belief the change in distance could have a bigger impact on teams' shooting percentages than he anticipated.
I think the biggest thing we can learn from Weber's answer is him understanding the meaning behind the rule (spacing and scoring) and exactly how you'd use the new line to create those things. When he discusses "long close outs," he's referencing situations where defenders have to cover a lot of ground to close out on a shooter, and now there's even a little bit more room between the 3-point line and the rim to create in those situations.
How will it impact K-State's season? That, of course, we won't truly know until the season gets underway. But, if Weber's international experience is any indicator, it may have a bigger impact on the game than many (including myself) expected. And not just in regards to 3-point shooting percentages, but in how offenses will now plan to attack a (theoretically) more spread out floor.
It will be interesting, at least, and it actually ups the intrigue a bit - for me at least - heading into next season.