Players adjust to shot clock at Hoophall

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- As dominant and versatile as Grant Jerrett is on the court, the one thing you’d never mistake him for is a 3-point marksman.

Yet on Saturday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., Jerrett, a senior forward at La Verne Lutheran (La Verne, Calif.), found himself in situations where he was forced to hoist treys and long jump shots.


“I had to get used to that shot clock they had,” said Jerrett, an Arizona signee who is ranked No. 9 in the ESPNU 100. “There was a five-second difference between the one in California and the one here, and that may not sound like a lot, but it was really messing with us.”

Jerrett’s sentiments were echoed by nearly every team at the Hoophall Classic that had to either adjust to the different shot clock time or get used to having a time limit on the offensive end altogether.

“It was definitely something that we had trouble with,” St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) junior forward DeAndre Bembry said. “We tried to simulate it in practice before we got here, but it’s a lot different when you’re in the game. We’re not used to that in New Jersey at all.”

Bembry and the Celtics aren’t alone.

As it stands, only eight states and Washington, D.C., have a shot clock rule.

California, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington and the Washington (D.C.) Catholic Athletic Conference all have shot clocks of 35 seconds. Massachusetts’ shot clock is 30 seconds, as is Maryland’s, which is currently only used for girls’ basketball.

“I think a shot clock in the high school game needs to be universal with a universal time,” ESPN director of recruiting Paul Biancardi said. “There’s just so much benefit to having it. When you’re down with three minutes to go, it's hard to come back without one. High school is the only level that I know of in the world that doesn’t have a shot clock. Ask any of these kids and they’ll tell you that they want to play with the shot clock.”

Nate Britt certainly does.

He figures playing with the shot clock is only benefiting him as he gears up for the next level.

“As a point guard, it’s really important that you know how to manage the clock properly,” said Britt, a junior at Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.) who is committed to North Carolina. “I love that I’m able to play with the shot clock every night. I could definitely tell the guys here at Hoophall who weren’t used to it. I’d be playing defense and look up at the clock and see four seconds left and smile.”

Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle said that even though he and his team weren’t used to the shot clock coming into the Hoophall Classic, it didn’t affect them because of the way they play.

“We don’t hold the ball on offense,” said Randle, a junior who is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. “We get it out in transition and score quick. I noticed it, but I don’t think it had a big impact on us. It’s all about adjusting in this game anyway.”

That was Gonzaga junior forward Kris Jenkins’ view as well. He said teams that found themselves launching prayers with just seconds left on the shot clock had more to do with attention to detail.

“There are so many things that you have to adjust to in the game of basketball,” said Jenkins. “This is just another example of that. When you figure it out, the shot clock can really help you in lots of different ways. I definitely think that every state should have the rule in place.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.