About this time each year after the regular season and prior to the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series, or at least for the past few years, conversation about shot clocks in Indiana High School Basketball seems to surface.

Shot Clocks are two words that can excite some high school basketball enthusiasts . . .or possibly even make others cringe. Quite frankly, some others like the game the way it is.

Some view shot clocks as advancing the high school game one step closer to the college game. Some think it speeds up the game.
And there are coaches, fans and athletes whose support is increasing about the addition of a shot clock to the high school game, and it should come as no surprise that some others are basically indifferent.


Ryan Osborn, boys basketball coach and reigning Class 4A state-championship coach, Carmel: “The more I think about it, my first question is ‘why,’ do we try to appeal to friends, or just do something different. I love to teach, and I’m still working with kids…who are still trying to learn the game. Trying to learn to play offense the right way, I think a shot clock puts a harness on a coach’s ability to teach. I never tell my team not to shoot, but we want to get good shots. Shot clock changes coaching, and situations in a game. Some think it speeds up the game. Does it really? I don’t know. And I’m not sure what the percentage is…but it’s only a small percentage of kids getting to play at next level. If they are good enough to continue playing, then adapting to a shot clock (after high school) shouldn’t be a problem. At end of day for me, it’s about teaching the game, and I don’t know if it helps teaching the game if you use a shot clock.’’

Donna Buckley, girls basketball coach, Noblesville HS: “Obviously lots of people have very different opinions on the shot clock. I am in favor but I totally understand it would be an expense that many schools would struggle with. That is by far and away the biggest road block. Another con to adding a shot clock is the Milan effect. Some schools feel that they can play slow ball and give themselves an advantage vs the more athletic team or vs the team that can't adjust to that style of play. I totally get that and am all for giving coaches a strategy that can benefit their kids.
“I personally like the game being played at a quicker pace. I think it is a fun style for kids and fans. It also prepares kids for the college game. So many other sports have adopted rules that mimic their college style. I am all for doing the same with regards to the shot clock in college basketball.’’

Matt Moore, boys basketball coach, Fishers HS: “I think there are some advantages to having a shot clock at the high school level. I think it forces teams and coaches to prepare differently in situational scenarios than they do currently. I think one of the cons would be that time keepers and officials would have an adjustment period getting used to running the clock based on rules and game situations. There would be an additional expense also. I don't have a preference one way or the other...I coached in college for nine years so I was used to it. I think in high school you might see guys taking bad shots due to the shot clock expiring, but for the most part I'm indifferent about it.

“I think the data proves that a shot clock in high school won't speed up the game any more than it already is...there are some teams that are more deliberate, but overall rarely do teams have offensive possessions lasting longer than 25 - 30 seconds. I would rather see changes to other aspects of the game in HS rather than just thinking adding a shot clock will make the games flow better.’’

Shane Sumpter, Boys basketball coach who also coached the girls team a few years back, Westfield: “I’m against a shot clock, but I have the feeling like this is something that will happen in the near future.’’
(He also lists money, manpower at the score bench to operate.)
He added: “It could certainly favor the more talented team on a particular night.’’

Mack Gadis, Times reader and former standout guard at Purdue: “Yes on shot clock. It makes a coach have a more deliberate offense . . . It should mirror the college game . . . Makes for a more uptempo game and showcases the good players at both ends.’’

From More Readers:

*—“Allowing a shot clock in high school basketball would be detrimental to the game. There is a lot of value to playing disciplined basketball. It forces defenses to tighten up and fight for position. It forces offenses to get creative with screens, picks & good ball movement. Keep high school basketball pure!”

*—“Finding the necessary money, and adding manpower at the score bench to operate the clocks doesn’t seem likely.’’

*—“College ball is getting closer to that boring NBA with the shot clock. NO defense . . . just shoot the ball.’’

*—“Adding shot clocks would better prepare kids for the college game.’’

So where does it stand? it’s not difficult to find varying opinions.

The IHSAA, the governing body of Our Game in Indiana, follows the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and the NFHS voted down a shot clock proposal in 2012.

So, is it now time for change in high school basketball? I mean really time for change?

Does high school basketball actually need more speed?

A controlled brand of basketball — even a cat-and-mouse scheme at times — has proven to be smart and efficient….along with a great mental mindset. Handling and protecting the ball takes skill, and it has proven to be a weapon. Of course, stalling and forcing the other team to foul is a good way to get to the free-throw line.

As someone who has written about the game for nearly 55 years as a member of the Indiana media, I believe that Our Game may not be what it once was. But it’s certainly fine . . . and I’m not sure messing with a shot clock is the answer.

So, is it time to unplug such a thought and quit talking about it?

Keep in mind that installing shot clocks and the wiring would be costly, extremely costly, and such a move would add another job for someone, and even more money would be involved. These would be added expenses I’m sure most schools could not afford.

Certainly, this will likely continue to be a controversial subject. And, yes, an interesting one at that.

But based on such expenses, I don't think a shot clock is going to be the way of basketball in Indiana high schools. Not anytime soon, in my opinion.

Still, I never thought the IHSAA would ever abandon our one-class state basketball tournament system in favor of Class Basketball.

So what do I know?

*—Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317 460-8018.