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Basketball’s the same everywhere -- except the ball


Mike Miller

Basketball’s the same at every D-I school. Rims are 10 feet high, free-throws are from 15 feet away and the court’s 50 feet wide and 94 feet long.

Only thing that changes is the ball.

NCAA rules mandate a ball that weighs between 20 and 22 ounces, features a circumference between 29½ and 30 inches, can be orange, red-orange or brown and must be spherical. Those differences are enough to throw some shooters off, but not nearly as much as the un-regulated difference.

There’s no set brand.

As this N.Y. Times story details, ball brands vary throughout the game. Spalding, Nike, adidas, it’s up to the home team. Some feel slick, some have deeper grooves than others. And those things make a difference to a shooter.

“It’s definitely a difference, and I think that’s something that goes under the radar sometimes,” Pittsburgh guard Ashton Gibbs told the paper. “It affects a little bit of everything: the handle, the gripping of it and the shooting of the ball. You just have to get used to it.”

It makes for an interesting read, mostly for how teams try to gain an advantage at home by using a specific type (Wisconsin prefers Spalding). But some think it’s not that big of a deal.

“They’re all round; they’re all pretty much the same size,” Florida State guard Luke Loucks said. “It’s like the same argument with adjusting to hoops. And as much as balls do vary in composition and feel, they’re all still basketballs.”

It should be noted Loucks shoots 28.9 percent from 3.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.