Mike Thibault’s Perspective On Lowering The Rims

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Big East women's basketball, Connecticut Sun, Geno Auriemma, Mike Thibault, Mohegan Sun Arena, UConn women's basketball, Uncategorized, USA Basketball, WNBA Date:

It’s been a fascinating last few days for me, talking to many coaches about the concept of lowering the rim in women’s basketball as a means of improving the product.

Never once until Monday, when Geno Auriemma laid his idea out for me in the Hartford Courant, had I ever considered it. I just figured, like most things in life, that it is what it is.

Well, apparently it isn’t what it is.

Wednesday night, Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault returned my call and added yet another interesting perspective to the issue.

Thibault confirmed what DePaul coach Doug Bruno said, that the discussion is not new.

“In fact, it [lowering the rim] was a big issue at the FIBA championship a few years ago,” Thibault said. “But then it just sort of died.”

Ironically, Thibault was with Geno on Monday afternoon at UConn practice at Gampel when Huskies sports information director Pat McKenna walked into the gym to tell Auriemma how swiftly his words and opinions were flying around the country.

“I don’t know how practical it would be to do [logistically],”  said Thibault, who believes in the soundness of the idea, but worries about how difficult it may be to implement.

Thibault’s big concern is how young players, who may be without access to modern gyms with the capability to afford or accommodate adjustable rims, will be able to practice.

“What do they say? It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a good shooter or a good musician,” Thibault said.

Thibault understands that Auriemma’s idea is much about helping the game grow, by trying to create a more even playing field for the women. Auriemma points to the modified rules and dimensions of playing fields designed to accommodate volleyball, golf, softball and tennis.


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7 thoughts on “Mike Thibault’s Perspective On Lowering The Rims

  1. R Cronin

    We’re not at women’s games to watch HS boys type games. We’re here to watch a game played above the shoulders, not above the rim.

  2. palimpesst

    Thank Heavens for Little Mike’ T’s. His comment on boys playing basketball with 10 foot rims, many of those boys are not a big as Genos’s girls. But they WERE using the BOYS ball (point and counter point for Geno). Years ago College “men” were about the same size as Geno’s teams and few with 6 foot 5 in centers. But I agree with Geno use the Men’s ball, and the 10 second clock.
    Mike it appears is like 98 percent of the rest of us–life is –it is what it is. It’s hard enough just getting thru the day rather than changing it.

  3. TexasBogger

    Is there any research out there regarding women (smaller hands) using the men’s ball? How would a KML suddenly adjust to the big ball? Easily? Difficult?

  4. Ray

    Keep the rims 10 feet let the man play above the rim not the women. Put in the 10 second rule to reward the teams that play defence.

  5. Mark

    I think lower rims are a great idea. The logistics of it is hard though. I’m thinking parks, playgrounds, etc. Leave the smaller ball, and PLEASE DON’T change the shot clock to 24. There is no problem with taking time to create a good shot.

  6. bradpalmer

    “Thibault’s big concern is how young players, who may be without access to modern gyms with the capability to afford or accommodate adjustable rims, will be able to practice.”

    The reality is that most young players learn to shoot on these same non-adjustable 10-foot rims. Which is a big mistake and a story for another day.

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