A Business student scores attention for his innovative approach to sports analytics

Ethan Carpenter holding a Villanova basketball in front of a computer screen

Ethan Carpenter ’22 has had a lifelong passion for sports analytics that, until recently, was a career dream and a hobby, albeit a time-consuming one. Then, earlier this year, his innovative approach caught the attention of sports media and industry players—and countless hours of writing computer code and running data sets began to pay off.

Ethan’s novel and impressive approach to data analysis has become sought-after. Sports writer Seth Partnow referenced Ethan’s analysis of how NBA lineups have changed in a March 2021 story for The Athletic, and soon after, a basketball consulting company hired the Villanova School of Business student part time.

Ethan’s approach involves looking at a player’s average points, assists and possessions, then using statistical modeling to predict how playing with different lineups would impact their performance on the court. “All of my analysis is based on lineups, which is a way to analyze individual players in terms of who their teammates are,” he says. “I like breaking down lineups to see the diversity of roles that a player can take on.”