Over the next few days, the NCAA is meeting in Indianapolis to discuss possible college basketball rule changes. Some are more likely to be approved than others, but one presents an interesting opportunity for Syracuse especially.
There have been rumblings of a modified six-foul rule, unlike the six foul limit in the NBA. With it, a player is allowed up to three fouls per half. Any more in either half would be a foul out. That means you could see four-foul disqualifications in the first half, while another player finishes the game with six whistles.
Any Syracuse fan reading this is probably salivating over the possibility of having Bourama Sidibe on the floor for close to 40 minutes (stamina permitting), rather than his foul-trouble riddled 15.6 per game for his career. The idea of this proposal is to keep the best players on the floor for longer. For years, the Orange have watched their best center draw numerous whistles for silly and inevitable fouls. This wouldn’t change that, but it wouldn’t matter.
In the Mali native’s last full season (2019), he racked up more fouls than anyone else in D1 (131). That led to 10 disqualifications. All the while, Syracuse fans asked themselves what could have been of Sidibe’s career best production if he could stay on the floor.
It’s hard to think of any team that would benefit from this rule change more than Syracuse next year. The only downside is that the thin slice of Fizz nation that wants to see Jesse Edwards out there in the middle of the Zone would be stirring all year.
But this is a pretty drastic change that would be unlikely to draw the support of the purist college basketball fans. Like baseball’s three-batter rule, it fundamentally changes the game and the approach to the game for coaches and players alike. Don’t expect this rule to be implemented, at least not in time for Sidibe to reap the benefits in his extra year of eligibility. That being said, the 2-3 Zone inherently puts its centers in danger of fouling out, so Syracuse fans should appreciate this change whenever it comes.