Despite Coaches’ Wishes, MSHSL Shoots Down Shot Clock
Despite a large number of proponents, the Minnesota State High School League rejected a motion to add a shot clock for boys and girls basketball in all four classes on June 4th.
Tech boys basketball coach Mike Trewick is on the executive board of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches’ Association. He estimates that 80% of coaches in the state are on board with implementing a shot clock.
“Over 80% of our coaches have decided that they want it,” Trewick said. “It’s an even larger percentage when it comes to small schools.”
Trewick says that he is among the coaches who would favor a shot clock, adding that it simply improves the game.
“I think (the shot clock) just makes for a better game and makes the game flow better,” Trewick said. “Kids would have to be more skilled, you can’t hold the ball and you have to be able to make decisions quickly.
“I think it helps the game, and I think it helps the kids become more skilled,” Trewick said.
Cathedral uses a shot clock during their annual holiday tournament, which Trewick calls “a good thing.” Crusaders boys basketball coach Matt Meyer says that he was hoping the MSHSL would have implemented the rule for the upcoming season, citing late-game situations.
“If a team is down 10-15 points with 7 minutes left, there is no need to panic with a shot clock because you can still get back into the game by getting defensive stops because there are enough possessions left in the game,” Meyer said. “If you are ahead late in a 2nd half, the shot clock forces you to keep trying to score instead of holding the ball.”
Meyer also says that the shot clock would reward the defense, with offenses given less time to tire defenders.
“I like it because the shot clock rewards good defense,” Meyer said. “If a team plays good, stout defense for 35 seconds they should get rewarded with a stop, now the reward is to just keep playing more defense.”
Multiple factors have gone into the shot clock’s rejection by the MSHSL, with most frequently cited objection being the cost of the equipment and added cost to pay someone to run the clock during the game.
“I think it gets closer every year (to being approved),” Trewick said. “If North Dakota and South Dakota can do it, why can’t we find a way in Minnesota?
“Like any rule change it takes a while to do it,” Trewick said. “As we get more and more positive feedback, we may find that this isn’t as costly as we think and it gets easier and easier.”