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Alumnus discusses method for predicting college basketball recruitment in interview

Jackson Fambrough ’13 recently spoke to Inside Carolina about the economic model he developed for predicting college basketball recruitment.

Jackson Fambrough '13

For his senior thesis, economics major Jackson Fambrough ‘13 worked with Associate Professor Jennifer Platania on developing a model using economic principles that predicts where college basketball recruits will, or should go, to school. He has continued to work on the model since graduating from Elon.

Below is an excerpt from the Inside Carolina article:

What is the general overview of your model?
"The model is what economists refer to as a probit (short for probability) model. Probit models predict the probability of something happening given certain variables that are plugged into the model. My model takes variables dealing with three categories (recruit characteristics, school characteristics, and the relationship between the school and recruit) and plugs them into the model to predict where a recruit will or should go to school. Recruit characteristics involve recruit rankings and what position they play. School characteristics include items such as a school’s success athletically and academically as well as age/capacity of stadiums. The relationship between the recruit and the school involves the geographical location of the school, if the recruit took an official visit to the school, and the relationship between the recruit and the school’s academics.

"Essentially, the model is capable of predicting the chances any school has with any recruit, all you need to have is the data for the characteristics mentioned above."

What made you come up with the idea?
"Growing up I was always a huge fan of college basketball recruiting and I always wanted to try and predict where recruits would end up. I recently graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. During my junior year I had to start thinking about what I wanted to do for my senior thesis. My mentor, Dr. Jennifer Platania, coauthored a paper on an economic model for college football recruiting and it inspired me to see if I could use the some of the principles from her paper to create a foundation for an economic model for college basketball recruiting. A year later I submitted my senior thesis, which ended up being the first version of the model I use today."

Click here to access the article.

Nicole Filippo,
11/20/2013 2:25 PM