From where exactly do the best college basketball teams get their players? We wanted to answer that question, so we took a look at the rosters of all the men's Division I basketball teams ranked in the AP Top 25 preseason poll.
There were 377 student-athletes on the rosters of teams ranked in the poll and more of them came from California and Indiana than any other state.
California, the nation's most populated state, claims 37 competitors, including 10 who list Los Angeles as their hometown, the most of any city.
Indiana is the 15th-most populated state, but is represented by 32 players on top-25 rosters. Anyone who has watched Hoosiers understands the power and tradition of high school basketball in Indiana. This list confirms the passion for the game and depth of talent that emerges from its major metropolitan areas and small towns each season.
The rankings also show where the best college teams are located can affect the makeup of their rosters. Purdue has 10 in-state products on its roster this season and No. 1 North Carolina has eight who call the Tar Heel state home.
Geography is less relevant to some elite programs like No. 5 Duke (one in-state player) No. 2 Kentucky (three) and No. 4 Kansas (three). Their coaches cast a broad net from coast to coast in search of prospects.
Altogether, players on the top-25 teams come from 40 states and the District of Columbia. There are also 37 international players representing 22 countries.
Texas is next after Indiana with 25 players on top-25 rosters, including North Carolina’s Justin Jackson (Tomball), Maryland’s Rasheed Sulaimon (Houston) and Duke’s Matt Jones (DeSoto) - all prominent players on teams ranked in the top five entering the season.
Illinois has 20 players on top-25 rosters, while North Carolina rounds out the top five with 19, drawing heavily from Charlotte and Raleigh.
Basketball is thriving in Canada, too. The nation produced the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in 2013 (Anthony Bennett) and 2014 (Andrew Wiggins). The boom is represented in the college game as well, where six Canadians are on top-25 rosters, including Kentucky newcomers Jamal Murray and Mychal Mulder.
Here is the complete state-by-state breakdown:
|5. North Carolina||19|
|12. New York||11|
|15. New Jersey||9|
|28. New Hampshire||2|
|28. South Carolina||2|
|34. Washington DC||1|
|34. Rhode Island||1|
Cities producing the most players:
|1. Los Angeles||10|
|4. Fort Wayne||5|
The countries with most players on Top-25 rosters
Countries with one player on Top 25 rosters: Austria; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Cameroon, England; Estonia; Ghana; Guinea; Jamaica; Kenya; Mali; New Zealand; Nigeria; Poland; Slovakia; Ukraine.