Pigs to face FIBA ​​rules on tour

FAYETTEVILLE — The shot clock is a little shorter. The same goes for the length of the pitch.

The way is wider. The goalkeeper is allowed. There is one less official.

These are some of the differences in games governed by International Basketball Federation rules that the Arkansas Razorbacks will experience during their four-game European tour compared to NCAA rules.

University of Arkansas coach Eric Musselman says officials — two under FIBA ​​rules rather than three in college games — might also be a little quicker to call technical fouls .

“Yeah, probably more technical in international matches than normal,” Musselman said. “They are a bit stricter on behavior on the sidelines.”

Musselman has a lot of experience working in games with FIBA ​​rules, as he previously coached the Dominican Republic national team (2010-11), Venezuela national team (2011-13) in the global experience with China (2009) and the United States (2010). ) teams.

This will be Musselman’s third overseas tour as a college coach, including games in China when he was an assistant at Arizona State and in Costa Rica as Nevada coach.

“I know all the FIBA ​​rules perfectly,” Musselman said. “I may know FIBA ​​rules better than I did in college, believe it or not, because I’ve probably coached as many games under those rules.”

Musselman said he’s not too concerned about how the Razorbacks adjust to FIBA ​​rules when they play their exhibition games in Spain and Italy, starting with a match. opener against Valencia Seleccion on Tuesday.

The games Arkansas will play once the regular season begins, Musselman said, are far more important than their exhibition games.

“I’m not really worried about those four games,” he said. “I’m worried about the 30 games after those four.”

In preparation for the European tour, the Razorbacks have been using FIBA ​​basketballs – which, like NCAA balls, are 29.5 inches in circumference, but players say look smaller – and practice with them. the 24-second clock in the international game instead of the 30-second clock in the college game.

“We’ve been using the FIBA ​​Ball for a long time now and everyone’s used to it and everyone’s used to the 24-second clock,” Arkansas senior forward Jalen Graham said. “So we’re all just ready for this trip.”

Musselman said the shot clock could impact the Razorbacks if they’re forced out of their offense.

“Almost all of our sets are 8 to 12 seconds, because they’re NBA sets, quick sets that aren’t 20-second development sets,” he said. “Our sets won’t be affected at all, but what will be affected is when our games fail, what we engage in in our open attack.

“What’s going to happen is it’s going to be executed, the shot clock is at two seconds, and you have to get something really quick.

“I think it will help us execution-wise to get to our points a bit quicker knowing that the shot clock is very different. Maybe it will help our transition game. I think there will be a big adjustment in Game 1 for our guys to see how fast that shot clock really is.”

Teams have eight seconds to pass the ball over the halfway line under FIBA ​​rules – two seconds less than college teams are allowed.

“If we have an eight-second call in the backcourt, I’ll probably get mad in the moment,” Musselman said. “But we have to stick to our rules that we have to play for 30 games that matter and that really matter.”

University courts are 94 feet long and 50 feet wide compared to FIBA ​​courts, which are 92 by 49.

The free throw lane on a FIBA ​​court is 16 feet wide — like the NBA — while the NCAA lane remains at 12 feet, but Musselman didn’t change the dimensions in practice.

“Just a few things you have to get used to with FIBA,” Arkansas freshman forward Jordan Walsh said. “But it’s been a good experience so far.”

Razorbacks first-year goaltender Anthony Black played six games in June using international rules when he helped Team USA win gold at the FIBA ​​U18 Americas Championship – all teams had players 18 or younger – in Tijuana, Mexico.

Team USA topped the field beating the Dominican Republic 116-48, Ecuador 123-41, Puerto Rico 100-55, Mexico 92-64, Argentina 98-60 and Brazil 102-60.

“It was a blessing to be invited and to be part of the team,” Black said. “Playing in Mexico was fun, playing with a different group of people – some younger than me, some my level.

“Stuff like this you’ll remember for the rest of your life because not many people get the chance to do it.”

Touching the ball while it is in the cylinder of the basket is a goalie violation – on offense or defense – in college basketball, but is allowed by FIBA ​​rules.

Arkansas forward Trevon Brazile demonstrated how to smash the ball when in the cylinder isn’t a goalkeeper in international games in a video posted to Twitter with a nerf ball and toy goal attached to a door.

But in practice, Musselman does not allow goalkeepers.

“We’re not going to come out here and work on tapping the ball on the rim because you’re allowed to do that in FIBA,” Musselman said. “I really don’t want bad habits.”

Musselman said he’s not surprised if the Razorbacks are experiencing an increase in the number of calls to travel in their exhibition games.

“I think the players, the media, my wife – everyone – is going to be shocked at how many travel calls we have at the start,” Musselman said. “My experience with American players who have a very good first step, it’s called [traveling] high, high frequency.

“So look for a lot of early travel and then look for some adjustments.”

Musselman smiled when asked if he expected Arkansas opponents in Spain and Italy to receive favorable calls from local officials.

“We’re not going to have good whistles,” Musselman said. “You have to learn to play with whistles anyway.

“I mean, I think it will be good for our guys to be out of our own element and try to deal with whatever circumstances come our way.”

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