Here is the actual NCAA definition
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 12:20:47 CT
The NCAA Statisticians Handbook ('Section 5: Assists') states:
"A player is credited with an assist when the player makes, in the judgment of the statistician, the principal pass contributing directly to a field goal (or an awarded score of two or three points). Only one assist is to be credited on any field goal and only when the pass was a major part of the play. The same player cannot be credited with an assist and a field goal made on the same possession. Such a pass should be either (a) a pass that finds a player free after he or she has maneuvered without the ball for a positional advantage, or (b) a pass that gives the receiving player a positional advantage he or she otherwise would not have had. Philosophy. An assist should be more than a routine pass that just happens to be followed by a field goal. It should be a conscious effort to find the open player or to help a player work free. There should not be a limit on the number of dribbles by the receiver. It is not even necessary that the assist be given on the last pass. There is no restraint on the distance or type of shot made, for these are not the crucial factors in determining whether an assist should be credited."