Steve Masiello Hopes NCAA Rule Changes Lead To Advantage For Manhattan

As the NCAA gets ready to assess what rule changes might occur for the 2015-16 season, Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello would like to see all but one of the new rules passed.

“I think if they took the timeout away from the coaches, I really think it’s taking the tactical part of the game away from some really good coaches,” Masiello said.

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello is on the verge of a second straight NCAA tournament bid in as many seasons.
Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello believes that his team will be even more difficult to face given some of the new NCAA rule proposals.

Part of the new rule proposals include limiting coaches timeouts from five to four for a game, which would reduce coaches to three timeouts in the second half of games. Masiello, who has been to back to back NCAA tournaments with Manhattan, said he believes he has used all of his timeouts in about five percent of his games as head coach.

“Where I really think it’s going to change the game is on the road, when your team is in the first half going away from you,” Masiello said. “You’re going to see a lot of coaches, I think, go to maybe signs on the bench or different things to get attention. I think it’s something you have to practice if this goes through.”

Masiello said he is concerned that the new rules will put players in more difficult positions, especially for a team that – like the Jaspers – will have to adjust to these new rules out on the road in November and December during their non-conference schedule.

“Why are we taking away the coaching,” Masiello said. “I think everyone wants to see the game get cleaned up and make the game better and all those things, which every one is in favor of, but you have to let the coaches coach and the players play.”

Even if all of the rule changes pass through the NCAA, including rules that will reduce the shot clock by five seconds, expand the restricted area and improving the pace of play of the game among others, Masiello said he thinks that these new proposals should aid his team defensively. Last season, the Jaspers ranked fourth in the conference in defensive efficiency and had the third strongest three-point field goal percentage defense in the league.

“I think zone is going to be harder to play against with a lesser clock,” Masiello said. “Especially if I’m pressing and we’re getting guys into playing zone later in the clock. I think that’s a huge thing.”

Manhattan ranked in the top of the conference last season, averaging eight steals per game, which also ranked 20th nationally. Conversely, the Jaspers’ style of speed, trapping and physical defense produced 23 fouls per game on average, which ranked 349th out of 351 teams in the country.

“We don’t have to play physical, we can play speed and so we can go a lot of different ways with it,” Masiello said about how he plans for his team to defend next season. “For the most part though I hope all of them go through except for [timeouts], that’s the one I’m a little concerned about.”

Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others  for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]

2 thoughts on “Steve Masiello Hopes NCAA Rule Changes Lead To Advantage For Manhattan

  1. Again, rule changes !
    I guess they are trying to take defense out of the game.
    Reducing the shot clock and whistle happy Refs, thats all we need.
    If I wanted to watch the NBA I would, the college game is much more enjoyable.


  2. Steve and the Jaspers will be fine with these changes. Steve’s teams have always used the “refs can’t call everything so foul on every play when on D” approach. That approach will continue to work.


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