Obviously recruiting is the lifeblood of any college basketball program, because for all the expertise that a coach and his staff can provide you need talent in order to win on a consistent basis. That leads into the question of where do programs find these players, and which cities/states produce the most talent? Ben Stancil of Mode Analytics took an in-depth look at where college basketball programs recruit, and his study provided some interesting results.
The original purpose of the study was to contrast where college basketball programs recruit as opposed to college football programs, and according to Stancil’s research southern states produce the highest number of college basketball players per capita. With the population increase that the southern United States has experienced in recent years, this doesn’t come as a surprise even with northern states such as Illinois, Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania having a history of producing Division I talent.
Texas (427) and California (405) boast the highest number of Division I players on rosters this season, with Illinois’ 257 ranking third amongst the fifty states. The state with the fewest Division I players: North Dakota, which can claim just three natives on Division I rosters this season. And according to the study international players make up 14% of players on rosters this season.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.