The officiating changes were explained to the press on media day. This season, there are a few major rules that referees will make an emphasis.
1) No longer will a defender be allowed to hand-check - which is using his hands to slow the ball-handler. If a defender puts two hands on a dribbler, the whistle will automatically blow, at least it's supposed to.
2) No longer will a defender be allowed to slow a guy cutting through the lane. If you shoulder-check, you will be called for a foul.
3) A defender won't be allowed to slide under an offensive player who's already airborne and draw a charging foul. Doing so will result in a blocking call and free-throws for the offensive players.
There are others, but those are the main three.
The thought's of this blog?
Good luck to anyone playing against Arizona State's Jahii Carson this season. Prepare to play a ton of zone against the Sun Devils, because if you can't use your hands, defenders are going to have little chance to stop Carson's speed and quickness to the basket. On a lesser scale, good luck to people defending against Utah's Brandon Taylor. He's plenty quick.
Good luck to teams like Louisville, and Memphis, and Washington. Those are teams who pressure defensively. Those will be teams that draw plenty of hand-checking fouls.
"It's going to change the way we play and the way a lot of teams play," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.
This blog loves the changes to the block/charge rule. There were way too many instances the last few years of guys sliding under offensive players. It's flopping. It's a dangerous manuever and it needs to be cleaned up. Hopefully this rule helps.
The Pac-12 also says that shooters taking jumpers, and kicking their legs out won't be rewarded this season. That remains to be seen.