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The best and worst of the APR in major college hoops conferences

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

No major-conference program has done better in APR than Bill Self's Jayhawks. (USATSI)

Latest in hoops: NBA Early Entries | Latest News | Coaching Changes

Last week the NCAA released its latest annual report on the Academic Progress Rate. If you're reading this, you likely know what the APR is, but if not, just head here and get caught up really quickly.

There will be eight teams who sit out next year for the postseason due to low APR numbers. The baseline for postseason eligibility is now at 930 (out of 1,000 points), so another batch of banned teams was to be expected.

But across the board men's basketball is up five points from a year ago, a 957 mean, and that's an all-time high for men's hoops. Should note that no sport at any level of NCAA athletics has more teams in its division than D-I men's basketball, which was tracked at 346 teams in the most recent four-year APR review. Considering the sample size, that's pretty impressive.

We're now a decade into the APR era. As the years go on, programs all over the map appear to be improving. The APR is not a perfect system, and its critics have a lot of valid points. Plus, there remains the possibility that any number of these programs could be inflating numbers by nefarious ways of keeping kids eligible. We just don't know if/who/where that could be happening. But on the surface, things look good -- so the NCAA will tout that, naturally.

Here's how the average APR has gone up, year-by-year, per data provided by the NCAA.

'03-04'04-05'05-06'06-07'07-08'08-09'09-10'10-11'11-12'12-13
929.4928.5929931.9947948.2951.3952.3960.2964

Loads of data on all of this, plus so much more, fills up the NCAA's research and review right here.

This far into the process, it's time to look at how the major-conference schools have progressed since the APR started being tracked. Below, the composite scores from every team in the nine leagues that have proven to send at least three teams to the NCAA tournament in mulitple years over the past decade -- or for as long as the APR has been in existence.

(Exception obviously made for the one-year-old American Athletic Conference, which was birthed out of the abdomen of the old Big East.)

It's one way to look at how schools are moving along, some with just one coach and others with two, three or even four coaches over that span.

Ranked in order of highest collective average of APR to lowest, here are how the biggest leagues stack up. I've included the overall overage, the most recent APR score (from 2012-13), plus the highest and lowest APR scores in the school's history.

Asterisks indicate how many scholarships schools have been docked by way of APR penalty over the past 10 years.

ACC: 957.2

Mike Brey and Notre Dame are tied with Duke atop the ACC. (USATSI)


Notre Dame
: Average: 986 | Most recent: 995 | High: 1,000 (2x) ; Low: 971
Duke
: Average: 986 | Most recent: 995 | High: 995; Low: 972
North Carolina
: Average: 978 | Most recent: 938 | High: 995; Low: 938
North Carolina State:
Average: 968 | Most recent: 959 | High: 995; Low: 922
Miami:
Average: 965 | Most recent: 990 | High: 990; Low: 929
Wake Forest: Average: 960 | Most recent: 953 | High: 986; Low: 939
Pittsburgh: Average: 958 | Most recent: 995 | High: 995; Low: 905
Virginia Tech
: Average: 958 | Most recent: 960 | High: 985; Low: 930
Boston College
: Average: 952 | Most recent: 951 | Best: 978; Worst: 918
Florida State: Average: 951 | Most recent: 955 | High: 980; Low: 926
**Syracuse: Average: 942 | Most recent: 969 | High: 969; Low: 912
***Georgia Tech: Average: 940 | Most recent: 989 | High: 989; Low: 909
Virginia: Average: 939 | Most recent: 945 | High: 952; Low: 917
Clemson: Average: 938 | Most recent: 989 | High: 989; Low: 878
Maryland: Average: 934 | Most recent: 953 | High: 970; Low: 906

The ACC comes in as the highest APR collective among the big boys. No significant punishments among its members -- and though realignment has jumbled things, I'm listing all leagues and its current members. So though Syracuse earned a 942 mostly in the Big East, the ACC takes the average. Just easier to sort this way.

Big East: 957.1

Jay Wright and Villanova boast among the highest overall APRs in college hoops. (USATSI)

Villanova: Average: 985 | Most recent: 983 | High: 1,000; Low: 974
Butler: Average: 978 | Most recent: 985 | High: 1,000 (4x); Low: 933
Xavier: Average: 973 | Most recent: 958 | High: 985; Low: 958
Creighton: Average: 966 | Most recent: 972 | High: 980; Low: 956
Marquette: Average: 957 | Most recent: 959 | High: 980; Low: 918
Georgetown: Average: 955 | Most recent: 973 | High: 973; Low: 937
*DePaul: Average: 948 | Most recent: 960 | High: 1,000; Low: 865
Seton Hall: Average: 940 | Most recent: 979 | High: 979; Low: 918
St. John's: Average: 938 | Most recent: 942 | High: 968; Low: 884
Providence: Average: 933 | Most recent: 947 | High: 947; Low: 915

The Big East would be flawless in penalties if not for DePaul's one year of scholarship reduction. Butler's four-year run of 1,000 scores ended in 2012-13, Brad Stevens' last season as coach.

Big Ten: 953.3

Tom Izzo has Michigan State atop to the Big Ten in more ways than one. (USATSI)

Michigan State: Average: 977 | Most recent: 980 | High: 1,000; Low: 949
Northwestern: Average: 975 | Most recent: 980 | High: 1,000; Low: 935
Illinois: Average: 973 | Most recent: 957 | High: 990; Low: 952
Penn State: Average: 970 | Most recent: 964 | High: 995; Low: 934
Michigan: Average: 966 | Most recent: 990 | High: 1,000; Low: 927
Wisconsin: Average: 954 | Most recent: 975 | High: 980; Low: 926
Iowa: Average: 948 | Most recent: 971 | High: 971; Low: 929
**Purdue: Average: 941 | Most recent: 985 | High: 995; Low: 894
Nebraska: Average: 940 | Most recent: 947 | High: 971; Low: 925
**Ohio State: Average: 936 | Most recent: 977 | High: 977; Low: 902
Minnesota: Average: 934 | Most recent: 960 | High: 964; Low: 885
**Indiana: Average: 926 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000 (2x); Low: 866

Indiana sits at the bottom due to a continual rebuild after the Kelvin Sampson era. But Tom Crean has accumulated two 1,000-score years, so the Hoosiers are looking up.

Atlantic 10: 949.0

Archie Miller has Dayton leading the A-10, which is fairly steady across the board. (USATSI)

Dayton: Average: 982 | Most recent: 985 | High: 990; Low: 974
George Mason: Average: 972 | Most recent: 981 | High: 995; Low: 918
Richmond: Average: 959 | Most recent: 995 | High: 1,000; Low: 910
VCU: Average: 957 | Most recent: 970 | High: 985; Low: 920
Saint Louis: Average: 956 | Most recent: 957 | High: 1,000; Low: 923
La Salle: Average: 955 | Most recent: 974 | High: 974; Low: 917
*George Washington: Average: 952 | Most recent: 990 | High: 990; Low: 917
Rhode Island: Average: 945 | Most recent: 932 | High: 961; Low: 926
Saint Joseph's: Average: 939 | Most recent: 943 | High: 953; Low: 920
Duquesne: Average: 935 | Most recent: 946 | High: 961; Low: 906
Fordham: Average: 934 | Most recent: 938 | High: 947; Low: 924
Massachusetts: Average: 929 | Most recent: 960 | High: 960; Low: 894
St. Bonaventure: Average: 923 | Most recent: 978 | High: 978; Low: 894

The only significant penalty in this conference came against St. Bonaventure, which was knocked with a public notice of historical penalty for its 896 in the 2006-07 year. Historical penalties are now a thing of the past, but I've noted which schools received them where applicable (when four-year APR averages were below 900) throughout this post.

Pac-12: 945.6

Lorenzo Romar has Washington performing better in the classroom than on the court. (USATSI)

Stanford: Average: 971 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000; Low: 954
Washington: Average: 959 | Most recent: 984 | High: 990; Low: 878
UCLA: Average: 955 | Most recent: 969 | High: 969; Low: 915
Arizona: Average: 954 | Most recent: 984 | High: 984; Low: 924
Utah: Average: 954 | Most recent: 979 | High: 990; Low: 875
Oregon: Average: 953 | Most recent: 945 | High: 986; Low: 918
Arizona State: Average: 948 | Most recent: 989 | High: 989; Low: 885
Oregon State: Average: 945 | Most recent: 958 | High: 965; Low: 935
California: Average: 945 | Most recent: 939 | High: 967; Low: 921
Washington State: Average: 934 | Most recent: 938 | High: 971; Low: 875
**Colorado: Average: 920 | Most recent: 985 | High: 985; Low: 872
**USC: Average: 911 | Most recent: 952 | High: 960; Low: 842

Colorado and USC both received historical penalty notice in 2006-07. The Pac-12 has overall fallen from where it was three years ago in the greater ranking of major conferences in APR.

Big 12: 944.0

Rick Barnes has the second-most perfect scores among all schools listed -- behind Kansas. (USATSI)

Kansas: Average: 994 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000 (6x); Low: 969
Texas: Average: 962 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000 (5x); Low: 861
West Virginia: Average: 958 | Most recent: 974 | High: 995; Low: 899
Oklahoma State: Average: 948 | Most recent: 948 | High: 980; Low: 927
Texas Tech: Average: 945 | Most recent: 936 | High: 970; Low: 928
Baylor: Average: 939 | Most recent: 954 | High: 989; Low: 818
Oklahoma: Average: 936 | Most recent: 960 | High: 960; Low: 897
TCU: Average: 933 | Most recent: 946 | High: 948; Low: 912
*Kansas State: Average: 921 | Most recent: 974 | High: 974; Low: 870
**Iowa State: Average: 908 | Most recent: 948 | High: 949; Low: 852

If not for Kansas and Texas, the Big 12 would be much lower. But Rick Barnes and Bill Self have gotten their kids to stay eligible, graduate, and boost APR scores to impressive numbers. As for the other end of it, K-State received a public notice for historial penalty in 2006-07.

SEC: 942.3

No surprise that Kevin Stallings/Vanderbilt sits atop the SEC. (USATSI)

Vanderbilt: Average: 977 | Most recent: 974 | High: 985; Low: 971
Missouri: Average: 964 | Most recent: 969 | High: 979; Low: 938
Georgia: Average: 959 | Most recent: 986 | High: 990; Low: 940
Kentucky: Average: 956 | Most recent: 989 | High: 989; Low: 916
Alabama: Average: 954 | Most recent: 984 | High: 995; Low: 902
Florida: Average: 953 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000; Low: 903
Mississippi: Average: 949 | Most recent: 974 | High: 990; Low: 908
**Tennessee: Average: 938 | Most recent: 964 | High: 973; Low: 910
**South Carolina: Average: 933 | Most recent: 983 | High: 983; Low: 899
Texas A&M: Average: 931 | Most recent: 912 | High: 986; Low: 891
Mississippi State: Average: 929 | Most recent: 945 | High: 965; Low: 901
*Arkansas: Average: 924 | Most recent: 937 | High: 979; Low: 886
*LSU: Average: 913 | Most recent: 955 | High: 955; Low: 860
*Auburn: Average: 911 | Most recent: 940 | High: 940; Low: 862

There's a wide gap between Vanderbilt and the rest of the SEC. Auburn in 2007-08 was hit with a historical penalty for failing to crack 900. Arkansas has been smacked twice for failing to cross 900: in 2007-08 and 2009-10.

The American: 936.4

Would you have guessed Memphis was at the top of the AAC's APR ranking? (USATSI)

Memphis: Average: 962 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000 (2x); Low: 902
Louisville: Average: 957 | Most recent: 1,000 | High: 1,000; Low: 908
Rutgers: Average: 956 | Most recent: 978 | High: 978; Low: 933
SMU: Average: 955 | Most recent: 939 | High: 990; Low: 939
Temple: Average: 941 | Most recent: 974 | High: 980; Low: 900
Central Florida: Average: 929 | Most recent: 943 | High: 943; Low: 916
*Cincinnati: Average: 921 | Most recent: 958 | High: 992; Low: 838
South Florida: Average: 921 | Most recent: 959 | High: 959; Low: 878
**Connecticut: Average: 917 | Most recent: 936 | High: 946; Low: 889
Houston: Average: 906 | Most recent: 946 | High: 946; Low: 885

Interesting arrangement here, as the American getes Louisville and Rutgers' numbers -- but just for this brief time. Both programs are heading off to other leagues as of July 1, while a few more schools will come in. The biggest scar on the AAC is of course UConn, which earned a postseason ban for the 2013 season. It also earned practice reduction penalties based of 2010-11 numbers and had a historical penaltly notice based off the 2009-10 rolling numbers.

Houston earned a historical penalty beginning with its in 2008-09.

Mountain West: 925.1

The Mountain West is struggling, but Leon Rice has kept Boise State solid. (USATSI)

Air Force: Average: 966 | Most recent: 972 | High: 984; Low: 947
Boise State: Average: 953 | Most recent: 941 | High: 986; Low: 911
Nevada: Average: 934 | Most recent: 941 | High: 944; Low: 917
Utah State: Average: 934 | Most recent: 963 | High: 968; Low: 882
*New Mexico: Average: 932 | Most recent: 990 | High: 990; Low: 889
San Diego State: Average: 930 | Most recent: 939 | High: 939; Low: 916
UNLV: Average: 928 | Most recent: 965 | High: 965; Low: 841
***Colorado State: Average: 912 | Most recent: 971 | High: 971; Low: 859
**San Jose State: Average: 911 | Most recent: 911 | High: 940; Low: 886
**Wyoming: Average: 903 | Most recent: 941 | High: 941; Low: 864
*Fresno State: Average: 872 | Most recent: 927 | High: 928; Low: 725

It's not a good scene at all in the Mountain West, which is slowly making its way to respectability. The league's collective APR comes in below the 930 requirement for postseason play. Here's the rundown on penalties for its programs over the past few years. And it's not including scholarship docks, which are noted via asterisk above.

-- Colorado State in 2006-07 was hit with a historical penalty.

-- San Jose State was also hit with a historical penalty in 2006-07, in addition to a Level One practice reduction sanction.

-- Fresno State had historical penalties in 2005-06 and 2006-07. It also was hit with practice reduction, Level One.

-- New Mexico was hit with public notice of historical penalty in 2006-07.

-- And Wyoming in 2006-07 was faced with historical penalty notice in 2006-07.

 
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