UConn coach Geno Auriemma believes one of the reasons women's basketball isn't growing in popularity is a lack of offensive efficiency.
His solution? Lower the rim.
"What makes fans not want to watch women's basketball is that some of the players can't shoot and they miss layups and that forces the game to slow down," Auriemma said, according to the Hartford Courant.
"How do help improve that? Lower the rim (from 10 feet). Do you think the average fan knows that the net is lower in women's volleyball than men's volleyball? It's about seven inches shorter, so the women have the chance for the same kind of success at the net (as the men)."
What makes fans not want to watch women's basketball is that some of the players can't shoot and they miss layups and that forces the game to slow down.” -- UConn coach Geno Auriemma
Auriemma, who has coached UConn to seven national titles, said he would favor lowering the rim less than a foot.
"Let's say the average men's player is 6 foot 5 and the average woman is 5 foot 11," Auriemma told the Courant. "Let's lower the rim seven inches; let's say 7.2 inches to honor Title IX (instituted in 1972). If you lower it, the average fan likely wouldn't even notice it.
"Now there would be fewer missed layups because the players are actually at the rim (when they shoot). Shooting percentages go up. There would be more tip-ins."
Auriemma pointed out that the women's Final Four sold out the 30,000-seat Alamodome in 2002, but in 2011 struggled to fill Conseco Field House in Indianapolis, which seats just more than 18,000.
"So how much has the game possibly improved, in terms of how badly people want to see it?" he asked, according to the Courant.
Auriemma also suggested selecting cities to annually host the four women's basketball regionals and Final Four. He would also like the Final Four to take place Friday and Sunday instead on Sunday and Tuesday.
"The system is not working and when something isn't working, you should work to make changes," Auriemma told the Courant. "If the changes don't work, well at least you tried. It's a lot better than just complaining about everything all the time."
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