College basketball is upon us. This weekend, the Division I's 351 programs, spread across the country in urban, suburban and rural areas, open up play.
A total of 5,176 student-athletes are expected to suit up this season, all with the goal of winning the NCAA Tournament in March-April. A study by Rukkus placed every college basketball player into Google Maps by hometown. The result is an interactive grid, showing where college basketball players started their journey
Some quick notes:
-- College basketball has become an international sport. Check out the influx of players from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America (11 percent born outside the U.S.).
-- The average college basketball player travels 960 miles to his school, more than twice the distance the average college football player travels.
-- Defending champion Villanova is the second-most localized school with its average player coming from 128 miles away. NJIT is the most centralized, with players recruited from an average of 39 miles away. Meanwhile, Hawaii's averaged player treks from a nation-high 4,031 miles.
--Texas produces the most Division I players (408).
--Wyoming and North Dakota produce the least amount of players (3).
--Maryland produces the most Division I players per capita (2.70).
On Friday night, the college basketball season begins. Fans will watch the games. Meanwhile, recruiters will dive into maps such as these to analyze trends for future recruiting strategies.