NCAA scorers more productive
Is star power returning to college basketball? You certainly can make that case.
Davidson’s Stephen Curry leads the NCAA in scoring at 29.1 points a game. Not since 2002 (VMI’s Jason Conley, 29.3) has the NCAA scoring leader finished with that many points a game. Curry has a chance to be the first major-college player since Long Island’s Charles Jones in 1997 to average at least 30 points a game.
The 30-point threshold once was common. Purdue’s Glenn Robinson averaged 30.3 in 1994. U.S. International’s Kevin Bradshaw averaged 37.6 in 1991. Loyola-Marymount’s Bo Kimble averaged 35.3 in 1990. Loyola-Marymount’s Hank Gathers averaged 32.7 in 1989. Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins averaged 36.3 in 1988. Army’s Kevin Houston averaged 32.9 in 1987.
Every scoring champion in the 1970s averaged at least 30, and LSU’s Pete Maravich (44.5 in 1970) and Ole Miss’ Johnny Neuman (40.2 in 1971) surpassed 40.
But another entertaining development this year is that major-conference scorers are producing at a higher level. Of the top 15 scorers in major-college basketball, six come from the six power conferences: Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks is fourth at 25.7, Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody is fifth at 24.8, North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough is 10th at 22.9, Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell is 11th at 22.3, Arizona State’s James Harden is 12th at 22.1 and OU’s Blake Griffin is 13th at 22.0.
This decade, never have we had a season in which more than four of the top 15 scorers were from the power leagues. Most years, there have been only two.
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