The best NCAA men’s basketball players get to leave college early for the NBA, where they sign multimillion-dollar contracts before even playing a game. There’s even talks of those poor, destitute babies on full athletic scholarships getting a stipend while still at school.
All this and they can’t even shoot 3-pointers from an NBA-regulated 23 feet, 9 inches away from the basket? Come on now. It’s only an extra three feet from the NCAA 3-point line.
No, this isn’t a post devoted to calling college athletes spoiled brats, it’s about simple regularity. In fact, pushing back the 3-point line would only help players’ pro prospects.
Why do some college courts even have a separate 3-point line marked for NBA-distance anyways? It’s not worth four points in a college game, it’s to help players hone their long-range game for their jump to the pros.
Furthermore, former NBA player Eddy Curry could hit the “college 3.” Yeah, the same 7-foot Eddie Curry who’s now playing in China because his skills are no longer good enough to warrant a spot on an NBA team. Curry also deemed his skills good enough to go straight to the NBA from high school.
Former Gonzaga Bulldogs sharpshooter Adam Morrison left school after his junior season to pursue an NBA career just six years ago and is already out of a job. Granted, Morrison has Type 1 Diabetes which undoubtedly hampers him to a degree, but the 6-foot-8 forward was also completely lost in all aspects of the NBA game besides shooting.
According to official NCAA statistics, Division I teams attempted 18.16 3-pointers in 2011 and that number rose nearly every year since the NCAA adopted a 3-point line in 1987.
A number that’s decreased since then is personal fouls per-game. No, teams haven’t all of a sudden realized how to defend intelligently in the post, it’s the fact that most players aren’t even playing in the paint most of the time.
It’s also no coincidence the NCAA hasn’t enjoyed a stretch of high-scoring games since the 90’s, when teams routinely scored at least 70 ppg.
The adoption of the NBA 3-point line can only help players. Not only will it increase their ability to hit the long-range shot over time but it will also help them realize they can’t win games by just jacking up 3’s. If the distance of the 3-point line is increased, so, too, will the quality of play.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter:@mgillmei