Basketball In Colleges Essay

Basketball In Colleges Essay

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U.S. school and college basketball

(Summary of the Jackie Miranda Article)

Basketball at the school and college level developed from a structured, rigid game in the early days to one that is often fast-paced and high-scoring. Individual skills improved markedly, and although basketball continued to be regarded as the ultimate team game, individualistic, one-on-one performers came to be not only accepted but used as an effective means of winning games.

In the early years games were frequently won with point totals of less than 30, and the game, from the spectator's viewpoint, was slow. Once a team acquired a modest lead the popular tactic was to stall the game by passing the ball without trying to score, in an attempt to run out the clock. The NBC, seeing the need to discourage such slow-down tactics, instituted a number of rule changes. In 1932-33 a line was drawn at mid-court and the offensive team was required to advance the ball past it within 10 seconds or lose possession. Five years later, in 1937-38, the centre jump following each field goal or free throw was eliminated. Instead, the defending team was permitted to inbound the ball from the out-of-bounds line underneath the basket. Nearly four decades passed before an alteration of like magnitude was made in the college game. After experimentation the NCAA Rules Committee installed a 45-second shot clock in 1985, restricting the time a team could control the ball before shooting, and one year later implemented a three-point shot rule for baskets made beyond a distance of 19 feet nine inches.

More noticeable alteration in the game came both at the playing and coaching levels. Stanford University's Hank Luisetti was the first to use and popularize the one-hand shot in the late 1930s. Until then the only outside attempts were two-handed push shots. In the 1950s and 1960s a shooting style evolved from Luisetti's push-off one hander to a jump shot, which is released at the top of the jump. West Virginia University guard Jerry West and Purdue University's Rick Mount were two players who demonstrated the devastating effectiveness of this shot.

Coaching strategy changed appreciably over the years. Frank W. Keaney, coach at Rhode Island University from 1921 to 1948, is credited with introducing the concept of "fast breaking" basketball, in which the offensive team rushes the ball up...


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... telecast nationwide by cable networks, generating both revenue and tremendous exposure.

In the evolution of college basketball the darkest hours have been related to gambling scandals, the most serious of which arose in 1951. But in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s the game was again touched by the problem. Also, as the game began to draw more attention and generate more income, the pressure to win intensified, resulting in an outbreak of incidents of rule violations, especially with regard to recruitment of star players.

New York City basketball writers organized the first National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1938, but a year later the New York City colleges took control of the event. Until the early 1950s, the NIT was considered the most prestigious U.S. tournament, but with the growth of the college-run NCAA championship, the NIT became a consolation event for teams that failed to make the NCAA selections. Originally all teams in the NIT were invited to New York City and the games were played in Madison Square Garden. From the early 1980s, however, the first three rounds were played at regional or campus sites before the final four teams were brought to New York City.



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