Virginia Cavaliers

2016-17 record: 23-11, 11-7 in the ACC

Head coach: Tony Bennett

Tenure at Virginia: 9th season

Career coaching record: 373-257

Home court: John Paul Jones Arena

Starters: G Devon Hall, G Kyle Guy, G Ty Jerome, F Isaiah Wilkins, C Jack Salt, 

Bench: G Nigel Johnson, G DeAndre Hunter, F Jay Huff, F Mamadi Diakite

Overview: After an impressive 16-3 start to the season, the Cavaliers fell victim to a brutal February and an early March exit when Florida held Virginia to only 39 points in the NCAA tournament's Round of 32. Despite Tony Bennett’s pack-line defense, the Cavaliers struggled to consistently muster enough offense to compete against high-caliber opponents. Virginia finished the year first in the NCAA in points allowed at 56.4 per game, but posted a dreadful 66.1 scoring average itself. 

And it won’t get any easier this year following the departure of the Cavaliers' top two scorers, London Perrantes and Marial Shayok. Like Shayok, Darius Thompson and Jarred Reuter also transferred out of the program after the season.

Bennett will surely feel the loss of Perrantes, but sophomore sharpshooter Kyle Guy has the potential to fill the void. Guy finished his freshman season shooting 49.5 percent from deep and should be slated for a much larger role this year after averaging only 18.6 minutes per game as a freshman. In addition to the former McDonald’s All-American, the Cavaliers return guard Devon Hall and forward Isaiah Wilkins, who combined to average 15.2 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game last season. Bennett’s squad will look very different from last year, however, with the additions of redshirt freshmen Jay Huff and De’Andre Hunter as well as graduate transfer Nigel Johnson.

Virginia will be tested early with challenging road matchups at Virginia Commonwealth and West Virginia in addition to a home game against Wisconsin and a neutral-site battle against Vanderbilt in New York. The fate of this team will once again be determined by its ability, or lack thereof, to put up points.

One thing that needs to go right: Kyle Guy adopts the go-to scoring role with Nigel Johnson providing enough offensive production from the perimeter—in conjunction with suffocating defense—to help the Cavaliers keep pace with the top of ACC.

One thing that could go wrong: Guy fails to live up to the hype, and the Cavaliers’ offensive woes only worsen with no Perrantes or Malcolm Brogdon to save the day.