Tuesday, April 03, 2007

That being said, Florida was still the better team

As last night's game winded down CBS's statisticians realized it wasn't one of Florida's four vaunted NBA-ready junior starters who had led the Gators in scoring during their last two successful Final Fours. Rather the points leader was the one senior starter, the guy who averaged less than 1.5 rebounds and assists per game and attempted 12 foul shots all year.

I don't mean this to be a knock on Lee Humphrey, whose dogged determination to keep himself between his man and the basket on defense complements the dead-eyed three-point shooting he is known for, but the fact Humphrey has been back-to-back champion Florida's leading scorer on college basketball grandest stage represents everything that is wrong with the college game.

19 feet 9 inches, the current length of a three pointer in college, is a chip shot and one that takes on an elevated importance when the average college team scores around 75 points per game.

Not only does the short three allow a player like Humphrey, who is completely out of the flow of the offense for five minute stretches, to have the greatest impact on the final score, but it acts to congest the area around the basket, which leads to inside players accumulating more fouls -- the other scourge of college basketball.

College basketball needs to move the three-point line back at least a foot and/or adopt the six fouls per player rule of the NBA.

All too often the college game is being decided by which side can tack cheap fouls onto the opposing team's big men, and then get cheap three-pointers from their own little men.

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