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Wisconsin basketball: How will rule changes affect Bo Ryan, Badgers?

The NCAA implemented over 25 rule changes to men's basketball this offseason. Reducing the shot clock is the most obvious of them, but will it have the biggest affect?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO -- Bo Ryan wants to remind you that this isn't his first rodeo.

The heavy load of rule changes the NCAA shipped into college basketball during the offseason will surely require the Wisconsin Badgers' 15th-year head coach to make some adaptions, but there hasn't come a year when that hasn't been the case.

"Always remember some of us have been around so long we've coached to every rule change that has been put out," Ryan said Thursday at Big Ten media day in Chicago.

Among this season's key 25-plus rule changes are a reduced shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds, arm bars allowed in post defense and freedom of movement for players cutting without the ball.

The Badgers have already begun adapting to the new rules at practice. Ryan doesn't expect the most publicized change, the shot clock reduction, to be too difficult to overcome.

"You know, it's still going to be you've got to put the ball in the basket and you've got to stop the other guys from putting the ball in the basket, whether it's a five-second shot clock or 30," Ryan said.

"People want to see that, they can advocate for that. I think 30 is enough time to get a good shot. You teach good, practice good."

In the KenPom era (2002-present), Wisconsin has been a mainstay atop the nation's leaders in offensive efficiency. Last season in their run to the national championship game, the Badgers posted the most efficient offense on record with an adjusted offense rating of 127.9 points per 100 possessions.

With five fewer seconds to get a shot off, is there any chance the new rule hurts the Badgers' offense?

"I don't think so," forward Vitto Brown said. "If anything, it will help us. More sense of urgency."

But, then again, did we really expect much to change?

"We're still looking to get a great shot every time down," Brown said. "Sometimes we might practice with a shorter shock clock just to get used to speeding up our offense, but still work on getting a good shot at the end. "

Death. Taxes. Bo Ryan.

The Great Shot Clock Liposuction of 2015 drew the most attention in the offseason. It is the most tangible rule change, but, it's a switch that can be seen on every possession, unlike many of the other situational rules.

The consensus among coaches and players at media day, however, was to not over-exaggerate the ramifications of the shot-clock rule change. Among the others that, at season's end, may end up affecting how the game is played more than it are the adjustments on post play and larger freedom of movement for offensive cutters.

"If you tell me this year our guys are going to make cuts and people aren't going to be allowed to make contact with them, we're going to have a party."

"I mean, run an offense with freedom of movement; have forever, since junior high school coaching," Ryan said. "And if you tell me this year our guys are going to make cuts and people aren't going to be allowed to make contact with them, we're going to have a party. That's pretty good stuff."

Defenders in the post will now be allowed to use an arm-bar against an offensive player with his back to the basket.

Under Ryan, Wisconsin's strategy in post defense has long been to keep the hands off the offensive player. Brown hinted that he may utilize the arm bar in certain instances this season. Ryan furthered that, addressing any possible strategic changes.

"You've seen my practices, we don't put our hands on people," Ryan said. "We practice that. If people get into the post, we chest up and put our hands straight up. We're not using arm bars. Now you can use one arm bar at a time. So our guys will use those when they can because it was a rule change."

At this point, all talk about the actual ramifications of the significant amount of rule changes is mere speculation, but it all points to a bigger picture. It's a sign long awaited, going back to the moment the crowd filed out of Lucas Oil Stadium in early April: college basketball is knocking at the doorstep once again.