NBA Draft Trends: DC produces most pros per capita

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

With the NBA Draft soon approaching, I've been diving deep on the past 15 years worth of draft picks to see the patterns, trends and tendencies of NBA teams and college programs. You can scope all of the previous posts/research in our NBA Draft Trends series here.

On Thursday I posted the statistics of every region's NBA Draft player output over the past decade and a half, in addition to position-by-state breakdowns. It's a good way to kill 30 minutes, I promise you. Anyway, that map is again included at the top of this post, as you can see.

When Thursday's post went out, inevitably the question and complaints came back: Obviously California has the most NBA players because it has such a high population. What's the adjustment for NBA players per capita? Norlander, this is obvious and dumb.

I always appreciate the correspondence from you rapscallions.

So guess what? Today you're getting population ratio data! That was always the intention -- I just didn't want to totally overload one post with all that info, ya see. I'd like to thank Jared Todd, a manager on Butler's basketball staff, for doing the long division here and providing the per-capita information posted below. All the data is based on U.S. Census Bureau's "Cumulative Estimates of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico and Region and State Rankings: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009."

Which regions are getting the most pro potential out of their population pools? Peek below. The data is aligned according to player-per-capita, lowest to highest/best to worst, with NBA Draft picks from that region since 1998 in parentheses.

1. Washington, D.C.: 85,665 (7)
2. Maryland: 178,109 (32)
3. Alaska: 232,824 (3)
4. Louisiana: 280,755 (16)
5. Georgia: 280,835 (35)
6. Tennessee: 286,193 (22)
7. Arkansas: 288,945 (10)
8. Indiana: 291,960 (22)
9. Washington: 302,918 (22)
10. Illinois: 314,888 (41)
11. Oregon: 347,787 (11)
12. Mississippi: 369,000 (8)
13. Iowa: 375,982 (8)
14. Alabama: 392,392 (12)
15. Oklahoma: 409,672 (9)
16. Michigan: 415,405 (24)
17. California: 424,847 (87)
18. North Carolina: 426,404 (22)
19. Missouri: 427,684 (14)
20. New Jersey: 435,387 (20)
21. Delaware: 442,561 (2)
22. New York: 454,452 (43)
23. Minnesota: 478,747 (11)
24. Ohio: 524,666 (22)
25. Wyoming: 544,270 (1)
26. Texas: 590,055 (42)
27. West Virginia: 606,592 (3)
28. Kentucky: 616,302 (7)
29. Wisconsin: 628,308 (9)
30. Pennsylvania: 630,238 (20)
31. Connecticut: 703,658 (5)
32. South Dakota: 812,383 (1)
33. Colorado: 837,458 (6)
34. Florida: 842,635 (22)
35. Virginia: 875,843 (9)
36. Nevada: 881,028 (3)
37. Kansas: 939,582 (3)
38. New Mexico: 1,004,836 (2)
39. Rhode Island: 1,053,209 (1)
40. South Carolina: 1,140,311 (4)
41. Arizona: 1,319,156 (5)
42. New Hampshire: 1,324,575 (1)
43. Utah: 1,392,286 (2)
44. Massachusetts: 1,648,397 (4)

And again, the regions without an NBA player the past 15 years, population numbers included (all are 38th or lower, nationally):
Hawaii: 1,295,178
Idaho: 1,545,801
Maine: 1,318,301
Montana: 974,989
Nebraska: 1,796,619
North Dakota: 646,844
Vermont: 621,760

Nebraska is the most populated region without a pro selected since 1998.

But there you have it. Statistically, Wyoming is more efficient at getting guys into the NBA than Kansas and Kentucky. Alaska is unusually proficient, given three draft picks over 15 years. Massachusetts is undeniably anemic -- and what's the story behind that? -- at pumping out pros. These are the trends of recent history. How will basketball breeding change over the next two decades? We'll have one more NBA Draft Trends post next week to examine that question.

 
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