Question: Does the three second rule apply to a player who has dribbled into the key and picked up his/her dribble in the key? Does the player have three seconds to either pass or shoot? Or is the player in this case only subject to the five second "closely guarded rule" once he or she picks up his or her dribble?

Answer: To answer all of your questions, I would simply refer you to the entire rule as it is written in the FIBA Rule Book, with particular attention to the specific allowances that are granted to a player, as follows:

Article 26 - Three Seconds

26.1.1 - A player shall not remain in the opponents' restricted area for more than three (3)consecutive seconds while his team is in control of a live ball in the frontcourt and the game clock is running.

26.1.2 Allowances must be made for a player who:
- Makes an attempt to leave the restricted area.
- Is in the restricted area when he or his team-mate is in the act of shooting and the ball is leaving or has just left the player's hand(s) on the shot for a field goal.
- Dribbles in the restricted area to shoot for a field goal after having been there for less than three (3) seconds.

26.1.3 To establish himself outside the restricted area, the player must place both feet on the floor outside the restricted area.

The five-second closely guarded rule would never be applied to an offensive player in the restricted area, since a 3-second violation would occur prior to this.

Hope this helps!
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