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Does Virginia Returning a Majority of their Players from Last Year Predict Future Success?

UVA returns 76% of their minutes and 73% of their points from last year. With 26 days until the season starts does this experience predict future success and how does it compare to the rest of the ACC?

Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

One of the reasons the Virginia Cavaliers Men's Basketball team has such high expectations this season is because a majority of the team returns. UVA went 30-4 last year and only lost two players who played significant minutes for the Cavaliers, hence the #6 ranking in the recent coaches poll.  When looking at last year's total stats, the Hoos return 76% of last year's minutes, 73% of points, 72% of rebounds, 83% of assists, 75% of steals, and 65% of blocks.  The chart below shows how Virginia has retained its players in the past several years.

UVA Basketball Returning Points

In 2011 and 2013 only half of the teams points returned and the winning percentage suffered. Meanwhile in the last two seasons 85% and 71% of the teams points returned and the Cavaliers went 60-11, winning two ACC regular season titles in the process. Hopefully these trends continue and the Hoos have another successful season.

How do these stats compare to the other teams in the ACC? The chart below shows the percentage of returning minutes and points for the rest of the ACC coming into this season.

ACC BBall Returning Points

Virginia has the 4th highest minutes returning and 6th highest points. UNC is even higher on this list and is appropriately ranked #1 in the coaches poll. Meanwhile defending national champion Duke only returns roughly 30% of their points and minutes, but don't cry for the Blue Devils since they have the #3, #11, #17, and #24 recruits in the country coming in. For the rest of the normal basketball programs, returning experienced players is vital to success and hopefully UVA can use that familiarity to win the ACC again this season.