For those Clemson fans making their way to Littlejohn Coliseum today to watch the Tigers play Oakland (8 p.m.) in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament, they will see a different brand of basketball than what they are accustomed to watching.
In the off-season, the NCAA decided to use the NIT as experimental games for a couple of possible rule changes in regards to bonus free throws and the shot clock.
There will be no one-and-one free throw opportunities tonight. Once a team commits five fouls in the first 10 minutes of each half and then in the second 10 minutes, then the opposing team will shoot two free throws. The fouls reset at the 9:59 mark of each half.
Also, when a foul is committed by the defensive team and the shot clock is under 20 seconds, then the shot clock will be rest to 20 seconds instead of 30 seconds, like it does now.
Clemson basketball coach Brad Brownell says he will have more thoughts on the new rule changes once he has gone through it. As for tonight’s game, he thinks the free throw rule could be an advantage for the Tigers.
“We are a team in the past couple of years that has not fouled a lot,” he said. “We’ve worked hard on defending without fouling and try to gain an advantage in that way. Oakland is a team that draws a lot of fouls. I think it could be a factor in the game in terms of restarting the bonus and all of those things.”
Brownell says he also understands the new shot clock rule when the ball goes out of bounds and how it can speed the game up.
“I think there is probably some merit for that, but it will be interesting to play that way,” he said. “I kind of forgot about it until this morning. I did not know about the rule changes and our players do not know about it all right now because we have not talked about it (as of Monday).”