Monday, February 10, 2014

Some Interesting NCAA Statistical Data

The NCAA today released full-season statistics through games of Sunday with stats through the same point of last season. The results: field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and free throw shooting are all up, as is scoring -- and number of fouls called. This is the NCAA's way of letting us know that the crackdown on hand-checking, charges and other rules are helping the game, not hurting it.

The NCAA also compared this season's stats to last year's on a month-by-month basis (December, 2012 to December, 2013, etc.).

Obviously, the NCAA makes some points here. But even if more fouls called and more free throw attempts means higher-scoring games, it doesn't necessarily make for more exciting games. It certainly makes for longer games, which the NCAA apparently doesn't keep track of.

Here are some of the findings: 

· Overall field goal, three-point and free throw shooting percentages in November, December and January for the current season are higher than the same months for the 2012-13 season.

· Scoring in 2013-14 improved compared to the same month from the 2012-13 season, improving 5.89 points in November, 3.27 points in December and 3.84 points in January.

· The number of fouls called in each of the first three months of the current season compared to the same months last year are all up. The increase was 1.99 fouls per game in November, 1.58 fouls per game in December and 1.53 fouls per game in January.

· Turnovers are down for each month, with a decrease of 1.48 per game in November, 1.08 in December and .91 per game in January. The number of steals has decreased each month, but the number of blocks has risen.

· Compared to last year’s full-season stats, scoring is up 4.04 points per game. The increase in made free throws per game (2.24 per game) is attributed to 55.4 percent of the increased scoring, while the other 44.6 percent of the increase is attributed to more field goals made.
· Currently, teams are average 71.68 points per game, which if maintained for the whole season would be the highest since the 1995-96 season.

· While the total number of fouls is up more than 9 percent over last season, the 19.29 fouls per game is still below the 65-year average of 19.4. Last year’s total reached an all-time low of 17.68 fouls per game.


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