Earlier this month, the NCAA rules committee for women's basketball was throwing around the idea of putting an arc in the lane three feet from the basket to better identify charging/blocking fouls, as well as moving the three-point line from 19 feet, nine inches to 20 inches, 9 inches, the same as the men's line.
At the time, UConn coach Geno Auriemma sounded unconcerned about the prospect of an extended three-point line.
"That's something that's probably long overdue," Auriemma told the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla at the time. "I don't know why you have two separate lines to begin with. I never understood it. With two lines on the floor, most people are just going to stop at the first line they see [the men's line] and shoot the ball. So I don't think it will affect the women's game at all. If anything, it will likely improve three-point percentages because maybe just the better three-point shooters will be those attempting most of the shots. As the line goes further back, most coaches are going to find themselves more reluctant to just let anyone shoot three-pointers."
Turns out, Auriemma's attitude toward the rule change is a good one; starting in the 2011-2012 season, the women's three-point line will be moved back to 20 feet, nine inches, and an arc will also be placed three feet from the basket to aid in foul calls.
In terms of what this means for the former, we'll just refer to what we wrote on the subject a few weeks ago:
Auriemma seemed unconcerned [about the change] because, as he pointed out, sometimes the shooter pulls up at the men's line anyway. ...So the thought of making one official arc for men and women isn't a proposal that will keep Auriemma up at night.
Of course, having Stefanie Dolson inside mitigates any concerns about possible dry spells from long-range. Also not hurting: Hayes and Hartley will be in the backcourt next season, as will Caroline Doty, who missed 2010-2011 with a knee injury. Then there's this: the Huskies have three of the best players in the country headed to Storrs: 6-0 sharpshooter Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (the 2011 class' top-ranked player), 5-9 guard Brianna Banks and 6-3 forward/center Kiah Stokes.
The latter is a long time coming. The NBA has used the arc in the lane for some time and it's effective. Not only does it make players conscious of where they are in the lane, it makes the officials' jobs easier because it's no longer a judgment call. Either it's a block or a charge based on where the players are positioned relative to the arc.
Now we just have to wait four months for the 2011-12 season to begin.