A majority of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball coaches favor a shot clock and will recommend that a 45-second clock, which would be turned off the last four minutes of a game, be used starting next season.

The league athletic directors will vote on the idea at their May meeting in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Two years ago the coaches voted 6-2 in favor of a 30-second clock, but that proposal was rejected by the athletic directors. Games involving ACC teams produced an average of 118.5 points per game last season, lowest in the country. The national average was 137 points per game.

The only ACC coach who opposes the clock is Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. North Carolina State's Jim Valvano, Virginia's Terry Holland, Clemson's Bill Foster and Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins approved the 45-second clock here Monday at a meeting of ACC coaches chaired by Foster. Of those not attending the meeting, Maryland's Lefty Driesell is on record favoring a clock, Wake Forest's Carl Tacy said he would favor it on "an experimental basis," and North Carolina's Dean Smith is said to favor it.

Only two ACC athletic directors could be reached today and they were split over the value of using the clock in league games only.

"If my coach recommends it, I'll certainly support it," Clemson's Bill McLellan said.

"Terry Holland and I are pretty much in unanimous agreement," said Dick Schultz, Virginia athletic director. "We don't want to do this as an experiment. I don't see much value of implementing the shot clock during the seaon, when the postseason tournaments (which would not have the clock) mean so much to all of our schools.

"I think adopting it this year is remote, unless there's a real surge in national interest, which I'm not certain we will see."

At the recent coaches convention here, a 45-second clock was favored by only one of out every three Division I coaches.

The national scoring average declined this season for the seventh straight year. The clock, many coaches and fans hope, would legislate a faster-paced game.

But, said Foster, the clock does not guarantee higher scores.

"The clock will probably not be the answer in pushing scores up," said Foster. "The scores might come down with the clock. I know that might sound crazy. But that's what happened in the Big Eight when they experimented with a 30-second clock a few years ago. Everybody went to zone defenses and field goal percentages went down."

The Sun Belt Conference, which has used for four seasons the identical 45-second format, produced an average of 147 points this season, 10 points higher than the national average.