The basketball shot clock gets a tryout during HVL-TRC Showdown

Jan. 22—ROCHESTER — The future of high school basketball was on display at Mayo Civic Center on Saturday and it was greeted with positive vibes.

Beginning with the 2023-24 season, a shot clock will be used during boys and girls basketball games. Each team will have 35 seconds to shoot the ball. Gone will be the days of any extended stalls.

During play at the HVL-TRC Showdown, the shot clock was used during the seven games played at Mayo Civic Arena on Saturday. It was rare for the shot clock to come into play more than a couple of times in any of the games and coaches all sounded excited about the new rule.

"I like playing with a shot clock," Lourdes boys coach Eric Larson said. "I feel like, particularly in competitive games, you have to keep playing the game the way it was intended to be played. You can't just go into a stall and play keep away."

Most coaches don't believe the shot clock will have a huge bearing on how teams run their offense. And some teams won't have a lot to worry about.

"I think it's great for the game," Zumbrota-Mazeppa boys coach Logan Jensen said. "It doesn't impact us a whole lot because we like to attack and shoot early anyway."

The Plainview-Elgin-Millville boys have played four games with the shot clock this season and it has had little impact.

"We just always play fast," P-E-M coach Jason Herber said. "It won't impact us at all."

A number of area teams have played using a shot clock this season. Some tournaments have used the clock and some teams are using it in non-conference games.

"I think it's good because it keeps the game at a good pace and makes sure teams can't hold the ball," Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior Kayden Rodrick said.

Coaches tend to agree that 35 seconds on the shot clock is plenty of time to create a scoring opportunity on offense. When the rule goes into effect next season, the shot clock will also be reset to 35 seconds on several instances, including offensive rebounds.

"In my opinion, 35 (seconds) is perfect," Jensen said. "I think there's a couple things they can adjust in terms of hand-check fouls and offensive boards, maybe not reset it to 35, maybe reset it to 24 or something like that."

The Chatfield boys were playing with the shot clock for the fourth time on Saturday. Coach Jeremy McBroom said in that span the Gophers have had to put up a shot in the final five seconds about five times.

"The team we have now, we have playmakers," McBroom said. "For the teams that don't have playmakers, it's going to be a little more challenging for them."

Teams with an attacking offense might have little to worry about. But the clock can be beneficial to a strong defensive team. If a team can play tough defense for the first 30 seconds, the offensive team might end up with a rushed shot.

Larson believes the shot clock helps teams that are better prepared.

"I think if you are a strong defensive team where you can play defense well for 35 seconds it's going to benefit you," Larson said. "But also if you execute your offense well, and you have a plan for the end of the shot clock, it benefits those teams well, too."

The biggest part of the game most likely to be impacted are the closing five minutes of play. Teams will no longer be able to run an extended amount of time off the clock. That could lead to fewer free throws shot late in the game and to more comeback victories, or close games.

"It can keep teams in it longer, you can't just milk the game with three or four minutes to go," Herber said. "But I like that, I'm so excited for it."

There will be some added expense to the new rule.

High schools around the state will have to add another set of timed clocks in their gyms. It also means more staff will be needed for each game.

"It takes an extra worker," Jensen said. "I think next year will be an adjustment, but after that I don't think there will be any hiccups with it."

Jensen said it's just a matter of the person who is the timer making sure to reset the clock every time. But it is also another thing for game officials to keep an eye on as well.

"It's another worker you need to find every game and workers are hard to come by," Larson admitted. "But we need to do what is best for this game."