In our current series on college basketball programs’ abilities to transform their available high school talent into NBA draft picks, we have decided to start with summary data for each school. We plan on concluding the series with a statistical model that predicts the likelihood of a player being drafted based on the player’s recruiting ranking, the school’s investment in the program, the rankings of the player’s teammates and other factors. We decided to start with the summary efficiency rankings simply because these rankings are more accessible to fans and tend to generate more conversation.
Our series continues with an examination of recruiting classes from 2002-2011 in the Big East. The chart below lists our efficiency rankings for the Big East (for more details on our methodology, please click here). The University of South Florida (USF) was the leader in the Big East in converting talent into NBA draft picks. The Bulls were followed by Marquette and then Connecticut.
In the period of our study, USF had no 5-Star or 4-Star recruits at all. However, 9.5% of 3-Star recruits at USF were drafted into the NBA (The overall national draft rate for 3-Star recruits during this period was 3%).
Marquette performed better than traditional Big East powers UConn, Syracuse, and Georgetown in the period of our study. This is largely due to 13% of 3-Star recruits and 14% of non-ranked recruits from Marquette being drafted. This is incredible considering that the national draft rate for 3-Star recruits was 3%, the rate for non-ranked recruits was 0.4%! While Georgetown and Syracuse were both slightly above average with respect to their 5-Star recruit drafting rates, they were both below the national average for being drafted with respect to their 4-Star recruits. This is potentially problematic, as 4-Star recruits reflect a large portion of the recruiting classes for both schools.