Here are a few thoughts on the game on 11-foot hoops on Saturday at Hec Edmondson Pavilion
No gimmies: Chippies inside are tougher with the extra foot, particularly with a defender inside. Even the big guys are forced to explode to the basket to make sure they get up enough to make the lay-in.
Good shooters adjust: As expected, good shooters adjust to the height and can still make shots, even from beyond the arc. The 11-foot height could have more affect in the final minutes of the game when players legs are tired, but early on players seem to be sinking shots.
D-up: With the basket a foot higher there’s more emphasis on defending the paint and forcing teams to shoot outside. Again, no easy shots or drives inside.
Hit the boards: With longer shots and less accuracy rebounding becomes even more of a premium, specifically at the guard spot with the possibility of more long rebounds.
No "wow" factor: With the rims at 11 feet and two teams that have not played together for very long, there were very few memorable highlights that you would take away from the contest. Because of the high rims there weren’t any chance of rebound jams or shots being pinned on the board. No above the rim activity at all, really.
Athletes still dominate: Like all sports, even with the basket a foot higher the better athletes and skilled players still shine. Players that can jump higher and run faster always will make plays. With that said, a skilled shooter can really show his talents at 11 feet.
Final thoughts: Overall, the main difference is the game was played below the rim, which is a lot different than most fans of basketball have become accustomed to. It seems that the most athletic guys will still shine with the rims moved a foot up, and that the adjustment will not necessarily lead to more passing and overall team play. But what I think it does lead to is a more skilled basketball player that can shoot from different angles, and more of a major role placed on an energy player that can run down rebounds around the basket and chase down loose balls.