Low ACC Scoring Persists

Virginia's Tony Bennett knows a thing or two about low scoring games - Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

This season's changed interpretation of rules regarding contact between defenders and offensive players has produced some interesting results.

This season's changed interpretation of rules regarding contact between defenders and offensive players has produced some interesting results.

Early on there was a pronounced increase in personal fouls levied. The spate of foul calls has subsided, along with the use of hand checks and elbows aimed at rerouting drivers and cutters in the lane. Coaches and players have caught on, more or less, to how the game is being officiated.

The jury is out on whether this alteration in interpretation has boosted scoring significantly, as was intended. As the chart below indicates, the number of halves in ACC action that saw teams score 17 or fewer points in 2013-14 has been right on track with the rate achieved (or underachieved) over the past three years.

Of course the 2014 season is only half over, so it's premature to reach conclusions.

Several other trends worth noting: Teams are resorting to greater use of zones to limit dribble penetration. The defensive struggles experienced by a program like Duke that's been prone to hand-checking may in part reflect difficulties adjusting to the new officiating approach.

And, when there's contact on any given play, it appears the benefit of the doubt almost invariably goes to the offensive player. Rather unfairly, that's true even if he initiates the contact.

HALF BAKED
Fewest Points In A Half By An ACC Team, Last Four Seasons
(Asterisk Indicates Played In 2013-14, Through Games Of January 13)

Pts School, Opponent Half Result Site Date
10 Clemson v. Virginia 1 L A 2/07/13
10 Clemson v. Duke 1 L A 1/08/13
10 Florida State v. Princeton 1 L H 12/30/11
13* Miami v. Nebraska 1 L A 12/04/13
13 Boston College v. Harvard 2 L H 12/29/11
13 Wake Forest v. Georgia Tech 2 L A 1/19/11
14 Florida State v. Harvard 1 L N 11/25/11
14 Maryland v. Miami 1 L A 1/13/13
15 Georgia Tech v. Clemson 1 L A 2/14/13
15 Florida State v. Virginia 1 L A 1/19/13
15 Virginia v. Delaware 1 L H 11/13/12
15 Florida State v. Florida 1 L H 12/05/12
15 Virginia v. Duke 2 L H 2/16/11
15 Virginia v. Iowa State 1 L H 12/30/10
16* Clemson v. Florida State 1 L H 1/09/14
16 Clemson v. Miami 1 L H 2/17/13
16 N.C. State v. Maryland L A 1/16/13
16 Miami v. Florida State 1 L A 2/26/11
16 Virginia v. Boston College 2 L H 2/26/11
16 N.C. State v. Clemson 2 L A 1/25/11
17* Florida State v. Virginia 1 L H 1/04/14
17* Boston College v. VCU 1 L N 12/28/13
17* Boston College v. Clemson 1 L H 1/04/14
17 Miami v. Virginia 1 L A 1/07/12
17 Boston College v. Miami 1 L H 2/23/11
17 Florida State v. Ohio State 1 L H 11/30/10
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