It was yet another busy off season, filled with high-level commitments from top high school prospects and transfers. The 2023-24 NCAA college basketball season began on Monday, November 6th, with 135 Canadians on Division I men’s rosters.
This year’s total men’s player count is in line with the numbers we have seen over the past three seasons, and is a slight increase from the 133 players who were on official rosters during the 2022-23 season.
After reaching all-time highs of 161 players during the 2020–21 season and dropping to 157 the following year, the number of Canadian men playing NCAA college basketball has remained relatively stable around the 130 mark for the past three seasons.
The transfer portal was once again the main source of off-season movement, with a total of 60 Canadian players, including a record-breaking number (9) of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) or Junior Colleges (JUCO) players, and the first NCAA DII transfer utilizing it to secure a new team.
Helping Canada maintain its position as the country with the most international players on NCAA Division I teams, the 2023 high school class made a significant contribution with the commitment of thirty (30) true freshman.
This is the highest number since the 2020-21 season when 52 Canadians, including Joshua Primo, Bennedict Mathurin, and Zach Edey, began their NCAA careers.
Overall, the slight increase in true freshman commitments, the record-high number of JUCO transfers, and the extension of super senior players continue to drive Canada’s NCAA numbers to levels only seen in this decade.
Take a deep dive into the 2023-24 Canadian NCAA players list and analyze emerging trends, while also examining past patterns using interactive charts.
Gain a visual representation of the top cities, provinces, classes, and conferences that have the highest representation of Canadians in the NCAA for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
2023-24 Canadian NCAA men’s basketball list – (Subscribers only)
City breakdown & analysis
Both top cities, Toronto and Montreal, had slight decreases; however, they still account for a large slice of where our nation’s top basketball players are being produced.
Toronto has experienced a three-year decline, dropping from its peak of 23% (35 players) in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Montreal’s numbers have followed a different trend, starting at 14.3% and rising to 16.7% in the following year. The percentage has remained consistent at 16.0% for the past year before decreasing to 14.1% (19 players) in 2023-24, marking the city’s first decline since the initial time frame.
On the West Coast, Calgary leads the way with eight players on the rise, boasting a year-over-year increase of 2.9% from their previous total of 3.1%, now reaching a total of 6.0%. The City of Ottawa maintains a steady growth trend, achieving its highest level since the 2020-21 year.
Five players have international backgrounds, with familial ties to Canada and children who were raised in various locations including Charlotte, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington, and the Monthey district in Valais, Switzerland.
Provincial breakdown & analysis
The facts speak for themselves, from the NBA to the NCAA and everything else in between. The province of Ontario is a basketball factory. It would be an interesting study to see how Ontario would stack up against the top producing American states such as Texas, North Carolina, California, New York, Illinois, Indiana, and Florida.
Due to the growing number of players hailing from Calgary, the province of Alberta has surpassed British Columbia and now holds the third-highest concentration of Canadian players at the NCAA division I level, boasting a total of 11 players.
Responsible for producing some of Canada’s best NCAA basketball talent over the years, British Columbia continues to be the crown jewel of the West Coast, holding steady at 6.7% of the 135 players on this year’s rosters. Nova Scotia has also reached its highest level since starting at 0.6% in 2020-21.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shift in college basketball, with student-athletes being granted an extra year of eligibility. As the final group of super seniors, impacted by the pandemic, takes advantage of this extension, the sport will gradually return to its normal state in the upcoming season.
A closer look at this year’s list reveals parity across the board, with upperclassmen benefiting from the additional year and experienced JUCO transfers. Overall, twenty-nine percent or 39 players are seniors, closely followed by the junior class with 37 Canadian players.
Three players also reclassified from the high school class of 2024, helping to push the freshman class to third place with 31 players, followed by 28 sophomores.
There are 135 players from Canada who are currently enrolled in 30 out of the 32 NCAA Division I conferences. Out of these, 28 are competing in the power six high major conferences, namely the ACC, Pac-12, SEC, Big East, Big Ten, and Big 12. The remaining 60 players are part of mid-major teams, while 47 have been selected for low-major schools.
For the second consecutive season, the America East Conference (AEC) is once again leading the pack with twelve players competing across five teams. The Mid-American Conference (MAC) is also well represented, with eleven Canadian players on seven teams, including a trio at both Central and Western Michigan.
For four consecutive seasons, the Pac-12 remains the top choice for Canadian players striving to make it to the NBA. As the conference of champions, it boasts the highest number of Canadian players among the six major conferences, with a total of nine athletes.
The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) leads other NCAA conferences in terms of the number of Canadian players on their rosters, with a total of ten. Following closely behind are the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Sun Belt, and Patriot conferences, each with seven Canadian players. The Big Ten also boasts a significant number of Canadian players, with a total of six.