Today in “News that won’t shock you”: John Calipari likes the NCAA rules committee’s proposal to give teams more time to practice in the preseason.
Yesterday, we told you about the proposed rule changes that would 1) allow teams to practice 30 times in a 42-day period before the first game on November 8th, beginning as early as late September; and 2) shorten the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30 seconds. The committee will vote on the changes next month.
Andy Katz caught up with his BFF John Calipari and Tom Izzo to talk about the proposed changes. Unsurprisingly, both are in favor of both. Cal annually tackles the challenge of getting young, talented players to play together as one, and says the extra time will only help:
“I like it. What we’re about to undertake has never been done before — to bring in a group like this. They recruited each other. We’ve got a great staff, but they recruited each other. It took the Miami Heat two years to do what they did. We’ve got to do it in three months. We’ll have the summer, but we could have used a foreign trip with this group.”
The Miami Heat, eh? Not a bad comparison.
“This thing has never been attempted,” Calipari told Katz. “But we’ve got young players who need to be coached, who are great competitors and who love to work and want to win. I’m excited and already preparing this summer for what we’re trying to get done and get it done earlier.”
I don’t think it’s a stretch to define “this thing” as an undefeated season. Cal’s hinted at the lofty goal for over a year, and this may be his best shot. As for the shortened shot clock? Cal says it won’t change anything unless officials start calling more fouls:
“I’m going to tell my guys to be aggressive on the verge of fouling,” said Calipari. “Hipchecking is a foul. It is in the NBA. We have to watch all the post-mugging that goes on.”
One thing that won’t change? The date of Big Blue Madness. Cal said that they will keep the event on October 18th.