The NCAA is touting a better brand of hoops. This season, new directives installed to create more motion and space on the basketball court while reducing the time of the shot clock, have driven an almost six-point increase in scoring.
NCAA Division I teams were averaging 73.4 points per game through Feb. 7, a nice boost from 67.7 a year ago. Total possessions have increased to 70.5 from 66.5. Average game times have dipped to 1 hour, 55 minutes, from 1:57.
Thirty-five teams are scoring more than 80 points per game, up from 26 at this time a year ago. That includes four teams from the Big 12, led by Oklahoma (84.1).
So what do Big 12 officials and Texas coach Shaka Smart think about the directives?
Curtis Shaw, the Big 12 coordinator of officials:
“It’s the biggest change in the sport in my 30 years. We were given directives to allow more freedom of movement, reduce physicality and set conditions for the ability to score.”
Shaka Smart, wondering how far officials can take the directives:
“I don’t know that it’s possible to call every foul every time the way they’re describing, on and off the ball. The question becomes, which ones do you call and which ones do you let go?”
For Kevin Lyttle’s full report on the changes including feedback from other Big 12 coaches and officials, click here.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.