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.