Scoring a tough task in men's basketball in 2012

By Aaron Beard

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 13 2012 2:30 p.m. MDT

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton reacts after his team was called for a foul against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Atlantic Coast Conference men's tournament, Sunday, March 11, 2012, in Atlanta. Florida State won 85-82.

John Bazemore, Associated Press

Men's college basketball teams have been offensively challenged all season, at times struggling to score 50 points. And as Southern California coach Kevin O'Neill says, no one is enjoying the drop-off.

Scoring is at its lowest level in 15 years in Division I.

Teams are averaging 68 points per game this year, down three points from the 1997-98 season, according to STATS LLC.

Coaches and players offer explanations ranging from defenses, coaching styles, more physical play and improved scouting. Those factors force teams to slow things down on offense and work deeper into the shot clock. And there are some teams that run clock by design to keep more athletic squads from wearing them down.

Fast-paced transition attacks have been replaced by grind-it-out fights with fewer points being scored.

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