As expected, the Division 1 Playing Rules and Oversight Panel has approved a change to move back the three-point line in college basketball. D1 will now adopt the FIBA three point distance of 22 feet, 1.75 inches. It was previously 20 feet, 9 inches from the basket.
Three-point shooting was an issue for last year's team, and as of today, the roster is still light on outside shooting going into the 2019-20 season. For this reason, you could certainly make a case that this change is bad for the Jayhawks. However, I don't think it is, for a few reasons.
First, I don't think this will have a huge impact on three-point accuracy. The reason the two-point jumper is rapidly disappearing from the sport is that players simply don't shoot much better from 18-19 feet than they do from 20'9. We may see a slight dip as teams adjust, but players will simply start taking their shooting reps from a couple feet back when they're in the gym.
This isn't the case only for Kansas. Throughout the sport, I would be surprised if we start to see a major drop in shooting numbers. The big difference this will make, as I see it, will be in the space available within the half court offense. All across the perimeter, teams will be stretched out about an extra foot and a half. That opens up a deceptively significant amount of room to operate within the arc. That means teams that focus on jamming the interior (Kansas State is a good example) will have a much tougher time doing so without giving up the ability to close out on perimeter shooters.
This opens up a positive impact for this year's Jayhawks. With a shorter arc, it would be easier to cut off Devon Dotson's driving lanes and surround Silvio and Dok in the post, while still being close enough to the perimeter to close out on an open shooter. With more area to cover, swarming KU's slashers and front court scorers is going to risk allowing open threes for Devon Dotson, Ochai Agbaji, and Tristan Enaruna, all of whom should shoot at least well enough for defenses to want a hand in their face. If KU lands top 50 prospect and highly regarded shooter Jalen Wilson, this becomes even more of a problem for defenses. The extended arc also simply means more room for a player like Silvio to maneuver, whose offensive game extends a bit further from the basket than Dok's.
Sure, we may see shooting struggles, but we were likely to see some anyway. Bill Self is a master when it comes to getting easy looks at the rim, and has an elite downhill driver (Dotson) and two excellent post scorers to work with. Giving Self and those players even more room to work with? Sign me up.