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49r

Analyzing College Basketball’s Relationship Between Recruiting Rankings and Wins - watchstadium.com

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Pretty interesting analysis of correlation between recruiting rankings and wins on the court on Stadium's website.  The data does not paint a very rosy picture of the Miles tenure at Nebraska.

 

https://watchstadium.com/news/analyzing-college-basketballs-relationship-between-recruiting-rankings-and-wins-04-17-2019/

 

There are multiple graphs in the article, I chose this one to embed here.  The horizontal line represents average performance for a team based on their recruiting rankings, falling below the line would indicate underperforming:

 

Screen-Shot-2019-04-17-at-1.19.17-PM.png

Edited by 49r

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2 minutes ago, PointGuard said:

"Better" scheduling would have increased the # of wins.

 

Good point, but look at the KenPom strength of schedule for both teams for the last 4 years:

 

Purdue - (Non-Con) (Overall) (W-L)

============================

2019 ----- #55 ---------- #4 -------- (26-10)

2018 ----- #144 -------- #41 ------ (30-7)

2017 ----- #224 -------- #38 ------ (27-8)

2016 ----- #239 -------- #56 ------ (26-9)

 

Nebraska - (Non-Con) (Overall) (W-L)

==============================

2019 --------- #168 -------- #9 -------- (19-17)

2018 --------- #255 -------- #59 ------ (22-11)

2017 --------- #27 ---------- #14 ------ (12-19)

2016 --------- #323 -------- #73 ------ (16-18)

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I'm not sure this chart really compares apples to apples.  For one thing a school could have a great recruiting class, but the results of that effort may not be seen for 2 or 3 years.  This list shows the same 4 years of recruiting with the record for the same 4 years.  How does it handle a graduate transfer?  Look at Texas Tech.  Not a great recruit status, but a few graduate transfers and they almost win it all.  Some schools on this list recruit a lot of one and done players.  Those freshmen are much better that the 3* that other schools get, and their results show up on the chart.  Kansas, Duke etc.  How did Gonzaga look so bad on the recruiting?  Is that because their conference is so weak?

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Sure there may be some outliers in the data - that's expected - but I would expect Nebraska lies more or less in the middle of the bell curve as it pertains to transfers, jucos, etc affecting the recruiting rankings.  Meaning I would expect Nebraska to fit pretty well within the average recruiting profile.  Transfers in/out, jucos, international guys, etc.

 

Even if you eliminate all the outliers (Gonzaga would be a good example as you mention because they rely so heavily on international players), you would still have Nebraska fall below the @Norm Peterson Mendoza line in that graph I'd imagine.

 

What jumps out at me are the extreme outliers, which can kind of be grouped in several ways.

 

Style of Play

-Wisconsin

-Virginia

-Villanova

 

Recruiting Philosophy

-Gonzaga (international)

-Nevada (transfers)

-Kentucky (one and done)

-Duke (one and done)

 

Level of Competition

-Wichita State

-Gonzaga

-Wake Forest

 

Coaching Acumen

-Villanova

-Michigan

-Michigan State

-Texas

 

What it means to me is it appears the least significant factor in a team's success over time very possibly could be recruiting rankings.  If that weren't the case, the line would slope much more downward.  Look at Colorado for example.  Hovering right around #80 in recruiting rankings but within a couple of wins per year as say, Syracuse, who is ~50 spots above them in the recruiting rankings on average.

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2 minutes ago, 49r said:

What it means to me is it appears the least significant factor in a team's success over time very possibly could be recruiting rankings.  If that weren't the case, the line would slope much more downward.  Look at Colorado for example.  Hovering right around #80 in recruiting rankings but within a couple of wins per year as say, Syracuse, who is ~50 spots above them in the recruiting rankings on average.

 

Can you cross-reference against strength of schedule? Colorado is winning but are they playing as tough a schedule as Syracuse? I'm curious.

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Just now, Norm Peterson said:

 

Can you cross-reference against strength of schedule? Colorado is winning but are they playing as tough a schedule as Syracuse? I'm curious.

 

Fair enough.  You're probably right, I'd imagine without looking that Colorado's SOS isn't anywhere near Syracuse.  How about we substitute Clemson then?

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Here is the Syracuse/Colorado breakdown.  The Pac 12 sucking so bad really drags Colorado down here.  Also, due to the elevation, Colorado has a massive home court advantage, so even though they appear on the line, they might just be considered an outlier due to such a creampuff schedule and their home advantage.

 

Syracuse - (Non-Con) (Overall) (W-L)

============================

2019 -------- #156 -------- #38 ------ (20-14)

2018 -------- #163 -------- #27 ------ (23-14)

2017 -------- #248 -------- #57 ------ (19-15)

2016 -------- #180 -------- #18 ------ (23-14)

 

Colorado - (Non-Con) (Overall) (W-L)

==============================

2019 -------- #300 -------- #95 ------ (23-13)

2018 -------- #160 -------- #67 ------ (17-15)

2017 -------- #180 -------- #73 ------ (19-15)

2016 -------- #227 -------- #54 ------ (22-12)

Edited by 49r

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Here's the Syracuse/Clemson one.

 

Syracuse - (Non-Con) (Overall) (W-L)

============================

2019 -------- #156 -------- #38 ------ (20-14)

2018 -------- #163 -------- #27 ------ (23-14)

2017 -------- #248 -------- #57 ------ (19-15)

2016 -------- #180 -------- #18 ------ (23-14)

 

Clemson - (Non-Con) (Overall) (W-L)

==============================

2019 -------- #134 -------- #45 ------ (20-14)

2018 -------- #214 -------- #20 ------ (25-10)

2017 -------- #91 ---------- #27 ------ (17-16)

2016 -------- #335 -------- #61 ------ (17-14)

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if this were any other hypothesis, all the scatterplot would tell you is that there wasn't a very good correlation between then hypothesis that recruit rankings cause wins. 

 

and I think you wound up hitting the nail on the head with SoS as to one reason why that is. You could try plotting this against a more sophisticated measure--like rpi and then do that over, say, 20 years. 

 

Personally, with that much outlay, NU looks more like within an acceptable margin of error for a weak hypothesis where they're at. Not that big of a deal, in other words. 

 

I think there is *some* connection, obviously. I think the best way to see it graphically is maybe compare the recruit tankings versus team wins *within* a conference over time, like the B1G or the ACC. I'm sure there would be a much tighter relationship. 

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That's pretty much the gist of the article, except they use games played in the NCAA tournament as the measure of ultimate success.  In other words, unless you are Duke, Kansas or Kentucky, recruiting at a high level isn't as valuable as one might think.  The table below shows recruiting rank and number of wins for each school that has at least 100 wins over the past 4 years:

 

School ’15 Rank ’16 Rank ’17 Rank ’18 Rank Avg. Rank ’16 Wins ’17 Wins ’18 Wins ’19 Wins Total Wins NCAA Tournament Games Played (2016-19)
Gonzaga 112 20 120 68 80 28 37 32 33 130 16
Villanova 29 45 28 9 27.8 35 32 36 26 129 16
North Carolina 70 14 19 14 29.3 33 33 26 29 121 17
Kansas 13 16 9 5 10.8 33 31 31 26 121 15
Virginia 62 7 98 63 57.5 29 23 31 35 118 13
Kentucky 1 2 2 2 1.8 27 32 26 30 115 13
Duke 2 1 1 1 1.3 25 28 29 32 114 13
Michigan 107 31 43 12 48.3 23 26 33 30 112 14
Oregon 19 21 13 3 14 31 33 23 25 112 12
Cincinnati 53 63 58 65 59.8 22 30 31 28 111 6
Michigan State 25 3 49 17 23.5 29 20 30 32 111 10
Nevada 150 57 101 52 90 24 28 29 29 110 5
Saint Mary’s __ 89 150 112 117 29 29 30 22 110 3
Purdue 37 108 34 49 57 26 27 30 26 109 11
Wichita State 57 72 125 62 79 26 31 25 22 104 6
Houston 67 134 67 114 95.5 22 21 27 33 103 5
Arizona 3 9 3 22 9.3 25 32 27 17 101 5
Xavier 119 28 11 64 55.5 28 24 29 19 100 8

*Wins in the First Four aren’t included in NCAA Tournament games played.

Edited by 49r

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"With two commitments, Nebraska’s 2020 class is ranked No. 5 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers currently have no available scholarships to give in 2020. "

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