One of the few starting roles up for grabs was replacing Jontel Evans at point guard. Sophomore Malcolm Brogdon, a 6-foot-5 guard who took a medical redshirt last season while recovering from a major foot injury suffered in the 2012 ACC tournament, is the most likely successor. Brogdon would give Virginia one of the most physical back courts in the country, but whether he can handle opposing point guards defensively remains to be seen. Expect sophomore Teven Jones and freshmen London Perrantes and Devon Hall to play significant minutes as well.
For the first time since he arrived at Virginia, Coach Tony Bennett might have more depth than he can use and the question is how he will keep everybody happy. Seniors Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell will continue to be focal points, but the Cavaliers could rotate 11 players in trying to create matchup issues for opponents. How Bennett manages to keep all those egos in check could determine if Virginia can finish in the upper echelon of the new-look ACC.
Having guards Paul Jesperson and Taylor Barnette transfer this offseason wasn’t a huge dent, but it left Virginia short on three-point shooters. Just two players on the roster — Harris and sophomore Evan Nolte — made more than 30.3 percent of their three-point attempts and made more than 20 overall last season. Rather than rely on outside shooting, the Cavaliers instead are aiming to get to the free throw line more often. But they’ll need to keep defenses honest, and it will take more than Harris.
— Mark Giannotto