Hoops: Clamouring to join the century club

Reading cishoops.ca's daily recaps of pre-season basketball has set the mind to racing about how much the switch to the FIBA rules and 24-second shot clock is going to affect play in men's basketball.

On most weekends last season, you might have seen one or two teams score 100 points and chances are it came in a game where everyone in the gym knew it was probably a mismatch. This weekend, Brandon, Calgary and Cape Breton and McGill each had 100-point games. The Redmen had a 101-98 win over Windsor where each team had a player (The Redmen's Sean Anthony and the Lancers' Greg Surmacz) put up at least 30 points.

A team hit a hundred in the regulation time 18 times last season, or about once every 25 games.
Chances are, it came in a game that everyone in the gym knew would probably be a mismatch.(There were two 101-100 barnburners, which believe it or not, came on the same Saturday.) That McGill-Windsor match, along with the Redmen's 99-89 win over York on Friday, might be closer to the template for the season.

Coach Craig Norman's Redmen have scored at least 90 points in five of their six pre-season games. They cracked 90 once in the previous three seasons and that came in an overtime contest. (Hat tip to Earl Zukerman, McGill's SID.) Some of that's maturing talent, some of it's the rule changes.

Or how about Carleton? The Ravens, who have made their rep on unrelenting defence and patient offence, cracked 95 points only once last season. That came against Lakehead, the last-place team in the OUA West. Dave Smart's Ravens broke 95 twice this weekend en route to winning their home tournament.

It's probably best to take a wait-and-see approach -- wait and see what the scores are like in January and February when teams are weighed down by injuries, cold-and-flu season and more developed defensive systems. For the time being, it's fun to imagine.

No player has averaged 25 points per game in any of the past three seasons. That too could change, since gunners such as Anthony or Saskatchewan's Andrew Spagarud will be getting more shots.
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