The start of the Virginia Basketball season is right around the corner, and we are counting down the days until the Hoos welcome Towson to John Paul Jones Arena on November 6. The season starts in 28 days, and today we’re looking at some notable names you will NOT be seeing this year in the ACC.
Ah, the one-and-done disease: a classic sickness that plagues all elite basketball conferences, including the ACC. While the ACC as a whole doesn’t suffer too terribly, a few of our conference foes in particular were hit pretty hard this year (cough, Duke, cough). Outside of the one-and-done stars, there are several other notable ACC names that you won’t be hearing about on the college basketball scene anymore.
While schools like Syracuse were lucky enough to get sophomore guard Tyus Battle back after he withdrew from the 2018 NBA Draft to return to the Orange for his junior year, other schools were not so lucky. (To be honest, I wouldn’t have been sad if Battle had gone to the League. He bothers the pack line a little too much for my liking.) But even with Battle back, the ACC will still look a little different this season.
We took a look at a few key losses in the conference, and here are our most notable departures:
MARVIN BAGLEY III (Duke)
Duke’s 6’11, 234 pound starting power forward was an absolute monster and a menace for Virginia to deal with. Not that the Hoos couldn’t handle him (yes, I am aware that we beat Duke at Cameron Indoor), but Bagley’s presence was a perpetual problem for any team he faced. He led the conference in scoring, rebounding, and shooting percentage in his freshman—and only—season. After just one year, Bagley went as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft to the Sacramento Kings.
WENDELL CARTER JR. (Duke)
Another Blue Devil big man who we’re not too sad to see go. The 6’10 center with a 7’4 wingspan was a problem on the perimeter and in the paint for opposing teams. Carter Jr. finished his freshman season with 335 rebounds, 76 blocked shots, and 16 double-doubles—second all-time among Duke freshman in all three categories. Carter Jr. went as the seventh overall pick in the draft and is now a rookie for the rebuilding Chicago Bulls.
JEROME ROBINSON (Boston College)
Robinson singlehandedly almost delayed Tony Bennett’s 200th win when Boston College visited Virginia last December. The Cavaliers came out on top by just one point, but it was a “tale of two Jeromes,” per our very own Caroline Darney, as Virginia’s Ty Jerome scored a career-high 31 points and the Eagles’ Jerome Robinson finished with 29. Robinson averaged 17.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in ACC action, numbers that were enough to earn him an All-ACC honorable mention selection. He went 13th overall to the Los Angeles Clippers.
GRAYSON ALLEN (Duke)
Goodbye Grayson, thank you for not tripping anyone on Virginia’s team—but more importantly—thank you for your time as the ACC’s conference villain. The Utah Jazz selected Allen with the 21st overall pick after the senior finished a full (and rare) four seasons in Durham. He ended as one of just five Blue Devils in history with 1,900 or more points, 400 or more rebounds, and 400 or more assists, which might be partially because barely any Duke players who start stick around as long as Allen did, but that’s none of our business. We’re not sad about it, and we’re pretty sure Louisville and FSU aren’t either.
JOEL BERRY II (UNC)
Joel Berry somehow went undrafted in 2018. While his presence might be under-appreciated in the NBA, it’s safe to say the Tar Heels will miss him terribly. Berry finished with two ACC titles, two trips to the Final Four, and a national championship as UNC’s starting point guard. His stats are equally as impressive as his list of accomplishments, which might be why the Lakers eventually picked him up in July. Or maybe it was his emotional goodbye post to Carolina—yo, Devon and Zay, where’s ours? Either way, Berry was a veteran leader and talented playmaker who led the Tar Heels brilliantly. How Roy Williams’ adjusts after his departure will definitely be something to watch for this year.
GARY TRENT JR (Duke)
In a shocking turn of events, Gary Trent Jr. is another Duke one-and-done who we won’t be seeing again! Trent Jr. was a sharp shooting wing who went No. 37 overall to Sacramento with his buddy Bagley, but was traded by the Kings to the Portland Trailblazers. He posed the biggest threat on the perimeter, setting a new Duke freshman record for made three-pointers in a single-season with 97. Ta-ta, Trent Jr.
BRUCE BROWN JR (Miami)
Brown Jr. spent two seasons with the Hurricanes before he left to become the No. 42 pick in the 2018 draft by Detroit. The Pistons picked up a talented guard who had a fantastic freshman season for Miami before a foot injury derailed the end of his sophomore year. Unfortunately for us, Chris Lykes is still around to Brown Jr.’s place in the Hurricanes backcourt.