Where Did the Most Productive Student-Athletes Come From?

The most productive student-athletes in College Basketball during the 2015-16 season came from possibly surprising locations.

In the case of Georgia recruiting, most fans want a team comprised of in-state talent due to the much touted talent pool inside the Atlanta area.  However, as discussed in a previous article there have been Georgia based student-athletes in the frontcourt that have not lived up to the hype and stars placed upon them by the recruiting “experts” and subsequently followed as gospel by the fans.

Consider this to be a cursory study of where coaches should look to seek out talent by position and by statistical need, if by only analyzing 2015-16 statistics in a vacuum.  In this article, only the basic statistics are covered:  Rebounds, Points and Assists.  Advanced metrics are far more challenging to assign statewide, but counts for advanced metrics could certainly be the topic of a different article.  All metrics and rosters were sourced through College Basketball Reference and scraped in a somewhat annoying fashion that thankfully did not involve copying and pasting.

Notice how this is the total count of student-athletes listed on each roster.  Future counts of student-athletes per position require that the student-athlete scores one point during the season.  Texas and California are the major states that are the home of student-athletes.  The New York to Raleigh, North Carolina corridor is an area rich in College Basketball talent along with the Great Lakes states.  The Atlanta area is also a major concentration of student-athletes are from while student-athletes from Florida are a bit more scattered across four metro areas.

Some interesting facts to glean from this map above are that Memphis and Baltimore have more student-athletes represented than Atlanta proper.  However, the Atlanta suburbs help make the figure much higher.  Charlotte proper also produces nearly as many student-athletes as Atlanta (53 to 49).  The city that has the most student-athletes that hail from it is Chicago, which is probably not much of a surprise.

When it comes to international student-athletes, over 70 countries are represented!  Canada, Australia and Nigeria are the where the international student-athletes call home the most.  There are five student-athletes from Iceland.  Of course, there are no student-athletes from Laos, North Korea, Turkmenistan or Cuba.  The world is not at that point yet.  Michael Carrera of South Carolina is one of two student-athletes that played Division I College Basketball from Venezuela, one can only hope that he and his family could defect from a very perilous economic and political situation there.

The best scorers from the Washington D.C. area, Great Lakes Region or in the Intermountain West and State of Arizona.  Student-athletes from Pennsylvania surprisingly were sub-par scorers.

The median points per game statistic tells a different story and when combined with the prior map gives further color to the story.  One cannot necessarily conclude skew alone with these two measures of average, this will be saved for a much more in-depth article in the future should readers receive this particular article well enough.  This is an article that is for the purposes of the whetting the appetite, much more statistical analysis can be done!

South Carolinians did not fare very well on the scoring end this past season and Ohioans were not impressive either.

Best regions:

  • Ark-La-Tex-homa
  • Upper Midwest
  • The DMV region
  • Intermountain West and Arizona

The largest concentration of scorers came naturally from the states that had the most student-athletes hail from them.  The Great Lakes region outperformed once again and so did the Washington D.C. Metro Area.  Florida did not produce as many student-athletes that were double digit per games scorers as states with lesser representation.

The rebounding capital of the South is Georgia.  Florida comes close, but the best rebounders in the South came from Georgia.  The Great Lakes region contingent was not as effective on the glass as a whole, but Michigan and Wisconsin produced some of the best.  Arizona and Utah were the home of the best rebounders in the country, but these states do not have nearly the volume of student-athletes represented compared to California, Texas, Georgia, New York and Illinois.

It is important to keep in mind when viewing these maps that all 351 Division I schools are represented in these findings, which means that quality of competition faced varies greatly.  Also, the quality of talent on each team varies, which means that a student-athlete may have inflated figures due to the fact that they had nobody helping them on the glass or on the offensive end.

As a whole, the Deep South is not the home of guys that racking up assists.  Look west for players that are more unselfish and play in offense that are predicated on skilled passing from all offensive players on the floor.

This is a map that just makes Georgians look selfish on the court.

Where are the dime-droppers from?  California, Texas, Louisiana (this is a surprise!), the Great Lakes states and the Mid-Atlantic.

Why aren’t Georgians distributing the basketball as well as those from other states?  Georgia is represented by more forwards and centers than guards in Division I College Basketball.  This is explains A LOT.  Maybe the Georgia natives are not as selfish as depicted in Median Assists per game map?

In the State of Georgia, mean scoring averages per game are highly influenced by a few top performers in the frontcourt, but as a whole The Peach State just is not producing enough scorers in the frontcourt to overcome the difference between the median and the mean.  In the Carolinas, this phenomenon is experienced as well.  Forwards and Centers from Louisiana and Indiana maintain consistency as far as the median and mean are concerned.

Need a scoring guard?  The best scoring guards came from the Great Lakes region, Intermountain West and Washington D.C. metro area.  Sensing a trend?

The best rebounders came from the Gulf Coast states, Great Lakes and Washington D.C. Metro Area.  Georgia was a painfully average state.  South Carolina frontcourt student-athletes were woefully poor on the glass.

The best passers in the South came from Georgia!  Every state in the SEC footprint could not top the median assists per game produced by the Point Guards from the State of Georgia.  All of Mark Fox’s Point Guards were from the State of Georgia and this will continue into next season.  The State of Michigan, Intermountain and Rocky Mountain states and D.C. Metro area also produce the guys that drop the dimes, but in the case of UGA, there is no reason not to recruit in-state for Point Guards.  This trend should continue.

This article just scrapes the surface of what can be uncovered about this past season.  It does reinforce that the Great Lakes region produced a lot of talented student-athletes and that the Washington D.C. area has a lot of talent as well.  Utah and Arizona did not have a lot of student-athletes represented, but they made the most of their opportunities.  There is some basic insight that lends credence to the strategy of bringing in out-of-state forwards and recruiting in-state guards to Georgia.  More investigating and statistical analysis needs to be done, but there is only just so much time, patience and once again there is always the matter of interest.

One comment

  1. Good article that I enjoyed reading and looking at these statistics. I look forward to seeing more information like this in the future. Thanks for your work.

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