The new rules instituted in college hoops this season intend to open the game back up a little bit, and they seem to be working. Only problem with these alterations is they require a significant readjustment on the part of coaches and players and what we've seen early on, not surprisingly, is a bunch of fouls.
Ken Pomeroy looked at the first weekend of the season compared to the first weekend of last season, and the numbers reflect what we were all pretty sure we thought we saw. Scoring increased. So did free fouls per 40 minutes, free throw attempts per 40, and free throw rate. This is Ted Valentine's wet dream. He will have to diversify his repertoire of scoring-table-aimed struts. I wish him godspeed.
I went back through the archives out of curiosity and found that the national average free throw rate hovered in the 35-37 percent range in the 10 years prior to 2013-14. This year the average is almost 43%. Amusingly enough, NC State's free throw rate is currently the lowest it has been in at least a decade. (THANKS A LOT, RULES.)
At the defensive end, State's big men are strugglin'--Anya is averaging 6.9 fouls per 40 minutes, Freeman is at 5.2, and Washington is at 4.0. Ralston Turner is the early foulmaster, however, with an impressive 7.2/40 rate.