Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference

Grace Dickman

Macalester College

No "I" in Team: A Network Analysis of

Division I Men's Basketball Offenses

Networks are used to analyze social interactions in various settings, but can they be used to model the offense of an elite-level basketball team? In this talk, we will explore the relationship between Division I men's basketball players, specifically the University of North Carolina, during select games from the 2015-2016 season, to uncover the underlying structure of the offense. Using degree and centrality measures, we will reveal who the true star players are and critique their role on the team. Attendees will learn to identify the components of a network, explain how the flow of an offense can be modeled as a network, and explain how the network can be used for practical applications such as creating offensive schemes, scouting and player acquisition/termination.

Grace Dickman is entering her fifth and final year as a student in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at Macalester College. She will graduate with a major in mathematics and a minor in exercise science from the University of Saint Thomas. Grace is a point guard on the Macalester women's basketball team and coaches with a Nike-sponsored girls youth basketball program based in the Twin Cities. After she graduates Grace hopes to work in analytics for a professional sports team or pursue a coaching career as a Division I women's assistant, focusing on player development and recruiting.

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