- HOME <> NBA History <> Advertise <> About US <> Write for us <> Press -

> General NBA info
> Awards
> Records
> Stats
> Player Facts
> Team Facts
> Other Leagues
> Message Board

What Is the Difference Between Professional and College Basketball?

Even though we are talking about the basketball game, there are certain differences between what you see in colleges across the country and on TV. It's easy to learn which is which, even if you are new to the game. It mostly comes down to the makeup of the match that you will notice. The college basketball players spend two 20-minute long halves instead of the classic four twelve-minute long quarters that we can spot in the NBA. In case you didn't know, the college players actually do it the right way because the majority of deviations originate from the NBA folks. Now, the NBA is more about entertainment, as you get your typical two-hour period and all the commercial side of the issue covered. Of course, there are more differences to consider, which we shall talk about below!

What is The Difference Between Professional and College Basketball?

Before you claim that the court looks like that everywhere and the game is the same, let us dive deeper into the major differences worth mentioning for those who may not already know them all:

- The Shot Clock Difference.

Since it's meant to increase the way how the game is played and the levels of scoring, the NCAA has the shot clock set at 35 seconds, yet in the NBA it's only 24 seconds! It's also a reason why they have much higher scores in the NBA, due to the higher speed of the game. The college basketball players do not follow the same crazy pace. Speaking of the time, college students also have to deal with many other things, so they are not getting up to the high speeds as they also have to study later! As a way to get help, consider the essay services reviews to get your tasks done. Once you have this type of freedom, you may try the higher pace as well!

- Dealing With The Fouls.

As you might know, NBA players get their six personal fouls before getting disqualified for the remainder of the game. The NCAA league allows only five fouls. Now, do the big guys have a right to foul more while playing?

- Dimensions Do Differ!

Actually, the college players have the three-pointer line a bit near to the basket. It's 19'9 versus 23'9 of what we see in the NBA games. The width of the lane is also different in the college games, as you have a twelve feet line versus a sixteen feet line in the NBA. In practice, it does make a difference if you try to play both versions! - Defense and Possession Stuff.

The differences become major in the defense. The defense is the most complex in the NBA, and the rules are complicated in the man versus man challenge. College basketball has more variety in the defense area, which also helps to recognize certain teams. It is also considered less traumatic and there are fewer health issues. Speaking of the possession aspect, the NBA usually addresses it all with the jump ball. The college players share the possession via team alternation. There is a possession arrow for this purpose, guiding us as to who will get the ball.

The Gap in Playing Standards and Quality

Speaking of the NBA, it stands for professional playing and regular matches with relevant training sessions. It has the best players in the world who have proved their right to be there. The majority of players in the college basketball league are quite good, even though some of them are only starting. The NCAA has specific standards, yet there is the freedom to do well without choosing a professional athletic career. Speaking of expectations, you can only join the NBA players if you are a pro and ready to dedicate your life and career to showing your finest and being able to compete against the best!


Michael Carr is an avid basketball player and an educator who loves to spend his time watching the NBA games and remembering the college past as he travels. His posts focus on anything from sports and entertainment to technology and education. Follow Michael to get your boost of creativity and entertainment.