S.D. Class A prep basketball games will use shot clock
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
The use of a shot clock is being expanded in South Dakota high school basketball. The state High School Activities Association board of directors last week approved the use of a 35-second shot clock for Class A boys' and girls' basketball, starting in 2014-15. "I don't think people will notice much of a change for the majority of the game," said Madison High School boys' coach Mike Ricke. "However, it will dramatically change the end of games -- especially close games."|
A common practice at the end of close games is that the team with the lead will hold the ball, waiting to get fouled to go to the free throw line and try to extend the lead.
"Without a shot clock, the defense is pretty much at the mercy of the offense because there aren't many options -- especially if a team has good ball handlers," Ricke said. "With the shot clock, a team will only be able to hold the ball for 34 seconds before they are forced to take a shot. That gives the team that is down a chance -- even though it is a small chance -- to get back into the game. The shot clock will dramatically change how coaches manage the end of close games."
"I think that there will be some growing pains at first, but in five years it will be old hat," said MHS girls' basketball coach Adam Ericsson. "I'm excited for the change and eager to tackle this new challenge."
Neither Ericsson nor Ricke believes that the change will affect Madison's play.
"It has been a program goal for us to get to the point where we could be an up-tempo team, so the implementation of the shot clock should fit in well with that goal," Ericsson said.
"With the up-tempo style we play, I don't think that people will notice much of a difference for us offensively," Ricke said. "However, I do think it will give teams that play good solid defense -- which I think we do -- an advantage because teams can't hold the ball until they find a hole in the defense. It will force teams to attack earlier in the possession and take shots they wouldn't normally take."
Athletic directors at Class A schools had voted earlier in favor of the idea.
A shot clock has been used in Class AA games in South Dakota since the 2008-09 season.
The state activities board rejected a measure calling for a shot clock in Class B games. Athletic directors earlier had voted overwhelmingly against using a shot clock.