|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
The contrast is striking. In '89-90, there were four ranked teams averaging more than 80 possessions per game; in '11-12, there was just one ranked team that broke 70. [...] The stark reality is that the 2012 season was the slowest and lowest-scoring in the modern era. The 35-second shot clock can't be all to blame, because teams were scoring more when it was 45. Referees' allowance of overly physical defense has had a real impact. Coaches, warier of job security in a bigger-money era, have become more conservative. They have sacrificed pace for slightly higher efficiency. To run is to give up control, and to try to really, really run -- like Loyola did, training as if it were a track team -- is to risk losing games and losing players.Ken Pomeroy covered the pace and scoring declines last January, when he delved into the NCAA record books and discovered that:
Nonetheless, there’s been a pretty consistent trend since scoring peaked at about 77 points per game in 1991. Possessions have been getting longer and efficiency has remained constant and the result is a steady decrease in points per game.