KANSAS CITY -- Everything about college basketball's new rules to penalize and ideally eliminate contact on the perimeter suggests it's going to be hard to take to start the 2013-14 season.
"I went through it in the NBA as a player where you can hand check guys, and then it went to an arm-bar rule and then you couldn't touch anybody," said Iowa State Coach Fred Hoiberg, who played for three teams in a 10-year career. "It was pretty ugly at first. I remember some of the games would take over three hours just because of all the fouls that were called."
There's a little part that might be good news to West Virginia, though.
"We're hard to guard," Coach Bob Huggins said, "if they're going to call it."
The NCAA is basically doing just what the NBA did before, which is calling fouls any time a defender jabs at a ball handler or plants a hand or a forearm or puts two hands on one.
It's supposed to stop defenses from jumping and mugging point guards in the backcourt and should let teams set up and then operate their offenses. It's supposed to compel defenders to use their feet instead of their arms to play defense. It's supposed to give dribblers clearer paths to the basket.
It's supposed to elevate scoring, whether by ease of access to the basket or free throws from an avalanche of fouls.
"We want you to be able to play defense, but it's always been you play defense by keeping your hands up, sliding your feet and keeping your body in front," said Curtis Shaw, the Big 12's coordinator of officials. "The fact of the matter is defenders getting into the offensive players was never one of the 10 rules of basketball.
"If you go back to look at those 10 rules, it clearly says you can't hold, push, trip. It's always an issue. So I think we're just really going back to the rules of basketball, saying, 'Let's go back to playing an athletic game, not a physical game.'"
The premise might be difficult to accept when the season begins and offenses learn to trust the new rules while defenses learn to obey them.
Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger will just about guarantee it after witnessing the NBA's change when he was the Atlanta Hawks coach from 2000-03.
"Tons of fouls, a lot of free throws, long, ugly games," he said. "I think hopefully fans can prepare for that. Coaches are going to have to. It's going to be frustrating. Players are going to be in a lot of foul trouble early on. It's just going to happen. There's no way around it."
Huggins isn't convinced, which is why he isn't worried about his defenders, who try to guard the ball very closely and keep the opposition from running their plays. It's not that he doesn't believe in the consequences of the rules. He's suspicious about the application of the rules.
"I know what they've told me for years and years and years, and it doesn't change," Huggins said. "It doesn't. For all the, 'We want scoring, we want scoring, we want scoring,' do they call fouls in the NCAA Tournament? Why don't they? Because people don't want to watch a free-throw shooting contest."