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Department: The ACC

Faulty Compass

Posted on October 31, 2018, in The Team by MaizeAndBlueWahoo.

My original idea for this week's column got short-circuited when I realized: I no longer have any real idea how to tell the difference between a good ACC team and a bad one.

It started with this thought: wow, the rest of the teams on our schedule are some pretty mediocre-ass looking outfits.  Yes, all of them.  Yes, I know what that means.  Actually, it's probably our whole division that's mediocre and we're taking full advantage right now.  ...

We had our writers cast ballots for a slate of all-conference preseason honors, to include 1st and 2nd team, all-freshman, and player, rookie, and defensive player of the year. 18 different players got votes for one of the two All-ACC teams, 11 different freshmen got votes for the rookie team, and there was little consensus in the player of the year debate. The takeaway? There are a lot of good players in the league this year.

 

Last offseason, Virginia watched three primary rotation players transfer out of the program alongside a graduating all-ACC senior, and it felt like UVA would be starting over. But through our numerical analysis, we saw the sky wasn't falling. In fact, turnover was happening all around the ACC, and Virginia actually ranked 3rd in terms of percentage of ACC minutes returning from the previous season's squad. The relative experience and continuity paid great dividends as Virginia nearly ran the table during the regular season.