The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Applied Statistics: M.S.


Department of Mathematics and Statistics


College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

David Robinson

Second Advisor

Michael Ernst

Third Advisor

William Branson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

NBA, Regression, NCAA, Basketball, Spearman Rank


This is a study of predicting success in the NBA based on college experience, and re-predicting after the rookie year of professional basketball. All first and second round picks from the 1985 draft through the 2005 draft are included in overall analysis, with 841 players having had at least one year of NBA experience and have played on a Division I NCAA team. The primary endpoints used in analyses are Player Efficiency Rating (PER), win shares, and win shares per 48 minutes. This paper will predict the success of picks using their draft pick, college statistics (both qualitative and quantitative), and physical qualities (height and weight). Also, rookie year statistics are used to update the analysis to determine if any additional information is gained after one year of professional basketball. This study concludes that a statistical analysis of college statistics predicted performance well using win shares per 48 minutes, but did not improve predicted performance with PER and win shares for first round draft picks. In addition, one of the predictive formulas was able to predict performance of the top 100 NBA prospects with higher accuracy than the actual draft.


I would like to thank everyone involved in helping me complete this paper. To Dr. Robinson, who helped me with revising the paper many times. To the entire Statistics department at SCSU, who have given me so much help and guidance. Thanks to my beautiful wife and children, for encouraging me to finish my degree. Thanks also to my parents, for always being supportive of me. And finally, thanks to Jesus Christ, my savior.

NBA_NCAA_Draft_First_Two_Rounds_1985_to_2005.xls (3820 kB)
All data for NBA draft picks (1st and 2nd round) from 1985 to 2005)



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