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THE BIG COUNTDOWN: How many players return this season in the ACC?

There is a LOT of turnover in the ACC, including with the Cavaliers.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Notre Dame vs Louisville Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

With the amount of talent in the ACC every season, it’s not unusual to see a lot of turnover. Duke’s Zion Williamson went No. 1 in the NBA draft, leading off a record-breaking group of six ACC players to go in the lottery. RJ Barrett (Duke) went No. 3 to the New York Knicks, De’Andre Hunter went at No. 4 to the Atlanta Hawks, Coby White (UNC) was picked No. 7 by the Chicago Bulls, Cam Reddish (Duke) went No. 10 to the Hawks, and Cameron Johnson (UNC) rounded out the lottery picks at No. 11 to the Phoenix Suns. A record-tying ten ACC players went in the first round, and 13 ACC players — best of any conference nation wide —were drafted overall.

That’s a lot of players to lose, and doesn’t even factor in those that graduated or transferred.

After winning the title last year, six players do not return for the Virginia Cavaliers for the upcoming season. Jack Salt graduated, Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and Hunter went to the NBA, and Marco Anthony transferred. Frankie Badocchi left the program for personal reasons. That leaves UVA with only 31.9% of their points returning and 39% of their minutes. That sounds dire, but that is better than four other teams in the ACC.

Here is how the ACC stacks up:

Percent Returning in the ACC

School Points Minutes
School Points Minutes
Notre Dame 85.3% 87.7%
Wake Forest 77.2% 77.3%
Louisville 75.9% 66.9%
Georgia Tech 73.2% 73.6%
North Carolina State 72.6% 71.6%
Pittsburgh 63.3% 60.2%
Boston College 53.6% 60.5%
Miami (FL) 47.8% 47.5%
Syracuse 41.9% 44.9%
Florida State 36.4% 43.0%
Virginia 31.9% 39.9%
Duke 26.1% 44.6%
Clemson 23.9% 32.4%
North Carolina 20.7% 26.8%
Virginia Tech 16.3% 26.3%

Duke, UNC, and Virginia are three of the bottom teams, but each will reload — to varying degrees — with top recruits. In the new ACC Preseason poll, they were ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 respectively. Virginia Tech returns just 16.3% of their points, which is understandable after a coaching change. Louisville, which was picked to finish third in the ACC this season (but received the second-most first place votes), returns a third-best 75.9% of its points.

Notre Dame tops the league with a whooping 85.3% of points returning for the Irish, including first team All-ACC player John Mooney and Rex Pfleuger (who was injured last season).

The 31.9% scoring returning for UVA is lowest in the past eight seasons. As shown in the chart below, the last time Virginia had such turnover was in 2017 when the Hoos only won 23 games.

UVA Returing Stats Over Time

Year % of Minutes Returning % of Scoring Returning % of Rebounds Returning % of Assists Returning Wins
Year % of Minutes Returning % of Scoring Returning % of Rebounds Returning % of Assists Returning Wins
2020 40% 32% 42% 30%
2019 62% 67% 54% 54% 35
2018 59% 52% 69% 46% 31
2017 57% 42% 48% 69% 23
2016 76% 74% 72% 83% 29
2015 71% 71% 68% 72% 30
2014 71% 85% 83% 62% 30
2013 59% 50% 52% 64% 23

When fans return to JPJ for games and see the championship banner hanging in the rafters, the 31.9% returning rate will be the last thing in their minds. Virginia gets underway on November 6, at Syracuse.