Aug. 5, 2011

Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa on practice and FIBA rule differences

OXFORD, Ohio - Only three days away from taking flight, anticipation is building for the Miami women's basketball team's historic trip to Turkey and Greece. The RedHawks have only a couple of practices left before leaving and will hold one more fundraiser, a car wash, on Saturday. The car wash will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the new branch of the Miami Credit Union on U.S. 27 North. The address is 5120 College Corner Pike. Fans are encouraged to stop by and get their cars cleaned for a good cause.

While overseas, the RedHawks will be playing three contests against professional teams, two in Turkey and one in Greece. While it is still the same game, it will be contested under FIBA rules, which differ somewhat from the NCAA.

There are three timing rule changes Miami will have to deal with. The biggest adjustment will be a 24-second shot clock, which is six seconds shorter than the 30-second clock that the team is used to playing with. Instead of being played in two 20-minute halves, the game will be contested in four 10-minute quarters. Finally, the RedHawks will have only eight seconds to get the ball over the backcourt line. In the NCAA women's game, there is no time limit to get the ball over the line. Even in the NCAA men's game they have 10 seconds.

The NCAA has decided that starting with the 2011-12 season, the three-point line for women will be moved back one foot from 19-9 to 20-9. There will now be only one three-point line drawn on the court, as that distance matches the men's line. Miami will get a chance to practice shooting from a longer three-point distance in these games, as the FIBA three-point line is 20-6.

The court dimensions will be slightly different than what the RedHawks are used to on their own floor. The NCAA free throw lane measures 12 feet wide by 19 feet long. The FIBA lane is equal to the NBA lane at 16 feet wide by 19 feet long. That was a recent change enacted by the governing body for basketball that won't be universal until 2012. It is possible that the games could still be played with a trapezoid shaped lane which FIBA previously used. The court itself is also slightly smaller, measuring 91-10 long by 49-2.5 wide. The court in Millett Hall measures 94 feet long and 50 feet wide.

Other minor differences in FIBA basketball is that a tie-up will result in an actual jump ball situation rather than alternating possessions. Only Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa will be permitted to call a time-out, players are not allow to request one. Finally, since the game is played in quarters, five team fouls result in two-shot foul situations. There is no one-and-one in FIBA basketball.

Playing with these rules will cause the game to be much more up-tempo and will definitely help Miami build confidence in its transition game for the 2011-12 season. Please click the link above to watch a video from Coach Fantanarosa discussing the first five days of practice as well as the FIBA rule differences.