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Technical Tidbits 3/15: NIT experiments with rules, USF hires Gregory

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Is this season’s NIT a glimpse into the future of college basketball? Yes, but it’s not that dramatic.

Georgia Tech v Virginia Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images

The University of South Florida made it official yesterday, hiring former Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory to fill their vacant job after another disappointing campaign. This is the second splash made by the USF athletic department during the 2017 calendar year after the school hired former Texas head coach Charlie Strong to spearhead the football program, but bringing in Brian Gregory is admittedly not as impressive a move as bringing in Strong was. For the Bulls, Gregory is going to be exactly what he was thought to be when he was hired at Tech: a high-floor, low-ceiling guy who has the capability to at least stabilize a program. That type of coach didn’t work out well on the Flats, but it should

Paul Johnson expanded his coaching staff on Monday afternoon, adding new associate director of player personnel Cody Moore to his front office. Formerly a coach at Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Auburn, Moore brings with him a great deal of experience and a strong resume as a recruiter to a Tech program that is currently coming off of the best recruiting class of the Paul Johnson era. If this move is an expansion of the staff as opposed to filling a role which was vacated by someone else, then it shows a renewed dedication by athletic director Todd Stansbury to filling the needs of the football program — Paul Johnson has often remarked on being short-handed from a staff perspective compared to major football schools.

As you may have seen last night during Tech’s game against Indiana, the NIT is being used as a testing ground for some very interesting new concepts in the world of college basketball. Team fouls reset to zero at the 9:59 mark of each half, marking the latest bit of resistance from the NCAA when it comes to the implementation of a four-quarter format in college basketball. The shot clock will also be reduced to just 20 seconds (from 30 seconds) following a foul by the defense in an attempt to spark offense. That’s something that the NCAA has tried diligently to do over the past few seasons, as we saw when the shot clock was reduced from 35 to 30 seconds recently.

In some NCAA Tournament news, I thought I’d draw your attention to the phenomenal job done by ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi on projecting the full field of teams for the tournament.

If you recall, Lunardi was one of very few analysts who gave Tech a real shot at making the tournament during the very late days of the season. Many thought he was hitting the golden Kool-Aid a little bit too hard, but the fact that he was able to nail 67/68 tournament teams is incredibly impressive. Solid year, Mr. Lunardi.