Men’s 3-point line moves full foot back

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

When fans attend a basketball game at Frost Arena this winter, they will notice a slight change: there will be two 3-point lines, not a solid one.

No, it was not a mistake – the men’s 3-point line was moved back a foot at the start of this season.

In May 2007, the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee voted to move the line to 20 feet 9 inches, compared to 19 feet 9 inches last year. The men’s line is still two feet shorter than the NBA line.

The move came during the 20th anniversary of the 3-point line being introduced.

The women’s rules committee decided to keep the women’s 3-point line at 19 feet 9 inches, which is why fans will see two separate lines on the court.

The change was delayed until the 2008-2009 due to the cost of repainting all of the courts.

“It will be confusing for the players, no matter what we say now,” Davidson head coach Bob McKillop told this summer. “I wish we had a standard line across every level of play: college, FIBA, the NBA.”

Even with the extra foot, 3-point shooting has not changed much for the Jacks; it has actually improved. Through seven games this year, the Jacks are shooting 36.4 percent from behind the arch, compared to 35.2 percent at the same time last year.

The number of 3-point tries has gone up this year as well; the Jacks have taken 162 3-point tries compared to 105 last year.

Clint Sargent and Garrett Callahan lead the Jacks with 48 and 47 tries respectively.

Sargent is shooting 39.6 percent, while Callahan is shooting 46.8 percent.

Not all people agree with the added distance.

In May 2007, Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl feared that the new line would not open up the lane, which many coaches believed it would, and teams that played zone would be at an advantage.

“I don’t know if it’s going to open the lane up more,” Pearl told “I think this will make zone defenses much more effective.”

“The match-up zone will make a comeback. Teams that play a lot of zone should be really happy with this.”