Last week, the NCAA announced that it will move from two 20-minute halves to four quarters in the women's game beginning in the fall. And UConn coach Geno Auriemma, who has been a champion for change for some times, couldn't be happier.
"What a great step forward for our game," he said, via the Hartford Courant. "As the game becomes more global, each year it's important that we start the process toward standardizing the rules. This is just the beginning of what I hope are many other changes to improve this great game."
The expectation, according to the NCAA, is that it will enhance the flow of the game.
"Players that possess a high IQ for the game will rise to the forefront," said former LSU coach Pokey Chatman, now with the Chicago Sky. "And the pace of the game will change and coaches will be able to implement much more strategy. We [the United States] are the world leaders of the game and it's nice to see how this all was thought out. It all makes the game world-wide and gets college players better prepared for the next level, while basically staying true to the game."
Another change to be introduced in the fall: teams will reach the double bonus on the fifth foul in each quarter. However, team fouls reset at the start of each quarter.
"I'm curious to see if this will result in any new defensive strategies for coaches," UConn Radio Network analyst and former UConn guard Debbie Fiske told the Courant. "Maybe you will be able to press more, play more aggressively defensively until you see your team is nearly at the limit."
Fiske continued: "And then you can put the pressure back on again because you've essentially been wiped clean of the previous fouls. I don't see UConn being heavily impacted by this simply because it hardly ever fouls. But other teams might feel differently about how they play, especially if they have a deep bench and the confidence to use their fouls over the entire game."
We'll certainly get a better idea just how beneficial these new rules are for upper-echelon teams like the Huskies once the season starts.