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NCAA basketball: when does recruiting talent translate into wins for power conferences?


  • Julianne Treme

    () (North Carolina State University)

  • Robert T. Burrus

    () (University of North Carolina Wilmington)


Abstract NCAA men’s basketball teams are spending an increasing amount of money on recruiting expenditures in an effort to win more games. We examine the recruiting quality of both freshmen and returning players to determine the impact of recruiting on a power conference team’s success. In particular, we identify the point at which players of different recruiting quality begin to contribute to a team’s success and estimate the impact of returning players by year and position. We find that elite freshmen guards are the only position that immediately impacts a team’s success, while forwards and centers need one or more seasons to develop into a player that generates wins for his team. We conclude by noting how these results may inform coaches regarding the makeup of talent and positions on their roster.

Suggested Citation

  • Julianne Treme & Robert T. Burrus, 2016. "NCAA basketball: when does recruiting talent translate into wins for power conferences?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(4), pages 735-753, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:40:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s12197-015-9323-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s12197-015-9323-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bremmer, Dale S. & Kesselring, Randall G., 1993. "The advertising effect of university athletic success: A reappraisal of the evidence," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 409-421.
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    5. J. Treme & R. Burrus & B. Sherrick, 2011. "The impact of recruiting on NCAA basketball success," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(9), pages 795-798.
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    8. Murphy, Robert G. & Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "The relation between a university's football record and the size of its applicant pool," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 265-270, September.
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    More about this item


    Recruiting; NCAA basketball;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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