Next season, Syracuse will be down three of its top four scorers from last year. However, the Orange is not alone in the ACC in terms of key absences come 2017. Here are the most notable departures for each team in the conference for next season. (Note: Some of these players have not declared for the NBA Draft yet, but could in the coming weeks.)
North Carolina: Justin Jackson (JR.)
The defending champs are likely to be without the reigning ACC Player of the Year. All signs point to Jackson entering the NBA Draft as a mid-first round pick, but if Jackson has a late change of heart, he’ll wreak havoc on the conference again.
Florida State: Jonathan Isaac (FR.)
Isaac is one of many Florida State players on the way out, but amongst players that could have possibly returned, he’s the most dangerous. The freshman is a part of an impressive freshman crop that is entering the draft this year and Isaac is expected to land in the top 10. An honorable mention goes to Dwayne Bacon.
Louisville: Donovan Mitchell (SO.)
Mitchell is projected as a late first round pick, which was appealing enough to test the waters, however, don’t be surprised if you see him back in a Cardinals uniform next season. Mitchell did not hire an agent, which makes him eligible to return to school.
Notre Dame: V.J. Beachem (SR.)
Beachem was one of Notre Dame’s premier scorers last season and is graduating. The senior averaged 14.5 points last year, but the real blow to the Irish could be Bonzie Colson. The junior could bolt to the NBA, subtract the ACC’s leading rebounder from the team.
Duke: Jayson Tatum (FR.) & Luke Kennard (SO.)
This is a toss up, but regardless, both of these departures are killer to the Blue Devils. Tatum is the latest in the one and done trend out of Duke after a stellar freshman campaign, while Kennard led the ACC in scoring at 20.1 points per game.
Virginia: London Perrantes (SR.)
Perrantes’ graduation feels like an end of an era for Virginia basketball. After Malcolm Brogdon’s departure last year, the two guys who have become synonymous with Cavalier basketball are gone from the team. Along with Perrantes, Marial Shayok is transferring from the program, which leaves Tony Bennett with a lot of work to do.
Virginia Tech: Zach LeDay (SR.)
LeDay was a force on the inside for the Hokies all year long. After transferring to the team for the 2015 season, the senior led the team in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back years.
Miami: Davon Reed (SR.)
Another senior who helped build up the Hurricanes basketball brand is on the way out. Reed was a great two-way player for Miami and led the team in scoring and steals last year.
Syracuse: Tyler Lydon (SO.)
For some SU fans, this was a headscratcher. Lydon was a guy who many felt would be a lottery pick this season, but has since fallen into the mid-late 20’s of the draft. Regardless of how much Lydon has fallen, he was still instrumental to the sliver of success the Orange had by being one of the conference’s elite rebounders and a defensive anchor in the paint.
Wake Forest: John Collins (SO.)
Collins was one of, if not the most improved player in the country last season. He nearly averaged a double-double in just 26.6 minutes per game. While Collins did not hire an agent, it would be shocking to see him come back to college, given how much his play has risen over the past year, as well as how the demand for centers in the NBA has thinned out, making now the time to capitalize on his stock.
Georgia Tech: Quinton Stephens (SR.)
Stephens was one of four players to average double digits for the Yellow Jackets last season, which helped head coach Josh Pastner beyond exceed expectations for his first year. The senior’s absence will be missed in the program, but Tech still has plenty of pieces to work with for next year.
Clemson: Jaron Blossomgame (SR.)
Without Blossomgame, Clemson very well could have contended with Boston College for the ACC’s worst team. The senior led the team in scoring in each of the last three seasons, leaving the Tigers with a huge hole to fill.
N.C. State: Dennis Smith (FR.)
The ACC Freshman of the Year’s draft entry was inevitable. After playing for a dismal team, Smith took advantage of his draft stock and should hear Adam Silver call his name within the first 10 picks. The point guard has all the tools to be a dynamic NBA player and like Tatum, is a part of a loaded one-and-done class.
Pitt: Jamel Artis (SR.) Michael Young (SR.)
Both of these players will be equally missed by the Panthers. Both averaged more than 18 points per game and accounted for more than half of the team’s offense. Their departures will leave head coach Kevin Stallings searching for answers next year as Pitt continues to trend downward. The Panthers only have two recruits for next season.
Boston College: Connar Tava (SR.)
Most of the Eagles production is leaving, but if you had to pin one guy it would be Tava. Although he may best be known as a victim of one of Grayson Allen’s tripping brigade, Tava was one of the team’s leading rebounders last season.