Remember how nearly every school kicked off the first day of practices with Midnight Madness? A huge event to mark the official start of the college basketball season?
Well, college basketball season is officially here. Today. Right now, in fact, college hoops teams are holding their first official practices. No fanfare, no parties, no coaches riding motorcycles onto the court.
Those events will likely still happen, mind you. But new rules are changing the need to have those “practices” on college basketball’s opening day.
- Practices are starting nearly two-weeks earlier this year, but the number of practices aren’t changing. Coaches will be allowed 30 days worth of practice over the course of the next 42 days, compared to the daily practice marathons in the past.
- There’s also no “starting time” for today’s practices. Last year, no one could practice until 5 p.m. on the first day. That restriction is lifted this year
- For teams that had summer practices for an overseas trip, like Morehead State, those count against the 30 they can use in the preseason.
These rules have actually been in place for women’s basketball for a few seasons now.
Overall, the moves are great for college teams. More time off should lead to fewer injuries, and gives coaches more time to get their team in shape, and for new players to learn the playbook.
Not every team is getting started today. Due to fall break, Murray State isn’t starting until October 3rd, for instance, while Austin Peay and Belmont are getting underway today.
The first regular-season games are six weeks from today, on November 8th.