Thanks to a new NCAA rule that says that teams are allowed to start practicing 42 days before their first game, today, September 27th, is the official start of the 2013-14 NCAA basketball season.
While some teams are now allowed to start earlier than they have in the past, a lot of coaches don’t feel the need to begin right away. As CBS reported, not everyone is planning on taking advantage of the ability to get some practices going in September.
One such detractor is Mississippi State’s head coach, Rick Ray.
“The biggest reason being, our season is long enough as it is. It’s the only sport that covers two semesters. I think we get so far behind, as far as our skill development, that we need more time dedicated to that rather than running this set play or getting our team defense.”
The biggest issue that a lot of coaches have mentioned in regards to starting early seems to revolve around health. The college basketball season is much longer than most other college sports and it becomes a bit of a grind. If teams are practicing more often, it could lead to more injuries because of fatigue. No coach wants to see their players go down for any length of time, especially if their practices were the reason for the injury.
There are some upsides to the new rule for some coaches. VCU’s bench boss, Shaka Smart, is a fan of the rule because it allows him to spread out his practices over a couple of weeks. In the past, he has had to put them all together because there was not enough time to do otherwise.
“…Now, we can go a couple of days on, a day off. Maybe even multiple days off. It actually gives us more of a flexibility to rest our guys”, Smart said.
Whether or not many teams begin practicing on September 27th, it is a big day for college basketball fans because we can now officially say the season has begun. While the summer months may have felt long, this season promises to be one of the most entertaining in years as the talent level in the NCAA is currently at an incredibly high level.