NCAA Initiatives Continue to Increase Scoring — CB Garrett Assignment 4
February 3, 2018
Following the 2012-13 season, the NCAA was trying to find ways to increase scoring as it fell to the lowest level since 1982. It had seen a dip in scoring to the point where Grambling State became the first team since at least 1997 to average less than 50 points per game. To bring scoring back up, the NCAA changed its defensive rules to try to generate a spike in offense. It allowed more freedom of movement for the offensive player by calling fouls for hand-checks, two hands on the offensive player, and a forearm on the offensive player.
This helped scoring for the 2013-14 season as scoring rose to a five season high, as teams averaged 70.1 points per game. But, scoring fell once again the following season, so the NCAA tried once again to increase offense. Starting for the 2015-16 season shot clock was decreased to 30 seconds, which has been highly effective.
Scoring has climbed each of the three years since, reaching an average of 73 points this season. This is more than six points higher than the low that sparked initial NCAA changes. The highest scoring team this season — Oklahoma — has eclipsed the 90 points per game margin with the help of the explosive offense of Trae Young.
NCAA men’s basketball ratings have continued to rise with scoring, as has the popularity of the sport, and has led to new ventures, such as the launch of a new ACC network for next season. Fans always like more offense and the NCAA’s initiatives to inject more of it into men’s basketball has been successful. What remains to be seen is how much it will rise, before plateauing.