The Point Is, There Aren't Many Points

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On Feb. 3, in the most recent N.C.A.A. scoring report available, the 345 N.C.A.A. Division I men’s teams were averaging 67.71 points a game, the lowest since the 67.6 average in 1982. Scoring averages typically fall by a half point to almost a full point by the end of conference play because games are more competitive. If that trend holds, the average would be the lowest since 1952.

According to coaches and players, scoring has become more difficult because the defense is too physical, coaches are choking the creativity out of offense, and players’ critical skills — like shooting — are deficient. Others say there has been too much of a talent drain with players leaving early for the N.B.A. There is also the notion that film...

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