The IHSA expanded the state tournament to four classes last season. That addition received mixed reviews. The NCAA has moved the 3-point line from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches, but the IHSA hasn't followed that precedent. The only significant rule change this season involves the free-throw lane. To minimize rough play, the bottom block will be unoccupied and players will move up one space. This is a small detail you may not even notice - until it swings an important game late in the fourth quarter.
"It kind of gives the advantage back to the defensive team," said first-year Benet coach Gene Heidkamp. "If you watch any level - if you watch college games, if you watch high school games - you'll see missed free throw block-outs at crunch time when teams are trying to foul or if there's (a) big possession. Somebody misses a free throw and they come up with an offensive rebound. (Those) are absolute backbreakers."