No one really expects foul shots to be made in a "B" league House basketball game. So no one was surprised when the gangling senior with the over-sized gym pants missed his foul shot. But when Jerry Blitz, fullback turned basketball referee, handed the ball to the kid for a second shot--everyone, particularly the senior, was surprised.
"New rule," Blitz explained, "if you miss the first shot, the ball is dead and the shooter gets another chance. If he misses that one, the ball is in play." Still gaping, the B team continued play.
Since its introduction, almost everyone has been complaining about the rule--except Cambridge's leading basketball authority, Norman W. Shepard. But then, Shepard never complains about anything.
The varsity had finished its last pre-Newport scrimmage, and Shepard was relaxing in the I.A.B., watching the freshmen scrimmage. "The object of the rule," he said, "like all the others in the last couple of years, is to cut down the fouling.
"But this is the first time that they (the National Basketball Rules Committee) have ever fooled around with the beginning and middle of the game," he continued. "We've had three scrimmages under the rule, and I can't see any difference in the number of fouls," Shepard added. "Of course, the boys haven't been playing much and they still play like it was last year--maybe by the middle of the season they'll be used to the rule, and won't foul so much."
High Scoring Game
"It'll probably make for a high scoring game," he said. "After all, the boys can't help themselves on a lot of these fouls, and when you give the shooter two chances, he should make one. I can't tell if it's a good rule yet," Shepard said, smiling, "but if it keeps down the fouling it will be."
Shepard glanced at the freshmen scrambling for a loose ball, nodded, and said, "But I'll tell you what is a good rule--the one that makes all fouls automatically two shots in the last three minutes. In our three games it cut down a lot of that last minute wrestling and turned it back to basketball. It's a good thing to cut out some of that rough stuff."
Shepard, whose 1924 basketball team in the days of low scoring games was the Basketball Team of the Year, started to leave, saying, "They can't waive a foul any more and you probably won't see many deep freezes any more."