Column: Alabama needs a shot clock

Published 10:30 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

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2-0. That was the score between Bibb County and Brookwood on Jan. 31, 2015.

That wasn’t the score after four minutes or after the first quarter.

That was the score at the end of the game.

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There were seven total shots taken in that game.

Yes, it was back in 2015, but the issues still apply today as teams abuse the lack of shot clock.

In 2021, Parker beat Carver 6-4 to advance to the area title game.

High school basketball, a lot like college and professional basketball, is a commodity.

People pay money to watch the games.

The venue has to make time and hire people for state championship games.

The venue sells concessions, and the AHSAA sells media rights to broadcast the games.

With money being tied into these games, people want the best product.

The best product doesn’t include teams holding onto the ball for three minutes at the end of the fourth quarter with one team up by two.

This was prevalent in Lanett’s  44-37 loss to Cold Springs in the state semifinals.

Between 3:50 left in the game and 1:57 left, there were no shots attempted by either team.

Almost two minutes went by, and the only action in a seven point state semifinal game was a Lanett foul.

Even a 35 second shot clock could’ve made a difference in a three-possession game.

As much as teams want to use the lack of shot clock to their advantage, it’s not good for the fans or the players to play stall ball.

I watched Lanett and Valley play in LaGrange for a tournament, and the games were much faster and much more entertaining due to Georgia having a shot clock.

The Lanett and Valley boys already play fast, but it made the fourth quarter a lot more fun to watch.

The AHSAA discussed adding a shot clock over the summer last year, but they haven’t decided on whether or not they will be implemented.

The argument against the shot clock is that it would cost about $5,000 for each school to install them.

Despite the costs, a shot clock would benefit Alabama high school basketball, even if it’s only feasible in the state tournaments.

I’m sure the AHSAA will discuss it again, but Alabama should join Georgia in having a shot clock.