College Ballers (part 2)


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Finally, part 2 of my women’s NCAA Basketball stats. The above data shows which states the players from the top 15 schools hail from (at end of 2016 season). Texas soars to the top with 20, followed by 12 from Ohio, and 9 from California and Georgia.  But don’t forget that the University of Texas and Baylor are in the top 15, and Ohio State is as well, and they recruited a lot of Ohioans. California has UCLA and Stanford. Georgia doesn’t have any schools but have a few close by- South Carolina, Florida State, and Tennessee. So that begs the question- are these schools so good because these areas are hotbeds for basketball talent, or are these athletes a bit lucky to live in an area with a top program, or a bit of both?  UConn has been the #1 team for years and they consistently recruit far from Connecticut for their top players. However, they, like most teams, have more local players filling out their roster, which explains some of the results.

The tables to the right show analysis I did combining my Athletes data with my Schools data to answer the question- do players come from wealthier towns, and therefore likely wealthier families? By using school data on the number of students on free or reduced lunch, I bucketed all 99,000 public schools in my data set into 5 equal-sized buckets. Level 1 is the poorest schools, or the bottom 20% (highest percentage of free/reduced lunch), and Level 5 is the top 20%. 43 of the athletes were in Level 5, and the numbers keep decreasing through Level 1. So the answer to my question is yes, players are, on average, coming from richer public schools. And just for fun, I also ran their private schools through and found that the majority went to Catholic school, but that’s no shocker given the sheer number in this country.

For reference, the top 15 schools at the end of 2016 were (in alphabetical order): Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, and the University of Connecticut.