2024 North Carolina Sports Network
Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Spotlight:

By Evan Rogers
North Carolina Sports Network

School: University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, Va.

Previous NCAA Conference Affiliations: South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1907-21); Southern Conference (1921-37)

ACC Member Since: 1953-54

ACC Ranking Among 32 Leagues (KenPom): 7th (2023), 5th (2022), 5th (2021), 4th (2020)

NCAA Tournament Bids: 25 (1976, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023)

Conference Titles: 3 (1976, 2014, 2018 in ACC)

Conference 1st-Place Finishes: 12 (1922 in SoCon; 1981, 1982, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023 in ACC)

Head Coach: Tony Bennett (54 years old, 15th season at Virginia)

As A Player: Wisconsin-Green Bay (1988-92); 3 seasons in NBA

Record At Virginia (Through Jan. 12): 352-129 (.732) in 14+ seasons

Previous Head Coaching Experience: Washington State (2006-09)

College AC Experience: Wisconsin (1999-2003), Washington State (2003-06)

Assistant Under: Dick Bennett, Brad Soderberg

2022-23 Record: 25-8, 15-5 (t-1st in 15-team ACC)

2023-23 Preseason Prediction (Coaches/Media): 4th in 15-team ACC

2023-24 Record (Through Jan. 12): 11-4, 2-2 ACC

2023-24 Midseason Ranking (KenPom): #60 nationally (6th in ACC)

Upcoming Schedule Highlights: at Wake Forest (1/13), Virginia Tech (1/17), at Georgia Tech (1/20), NC State (1/24)

Last year ended in heartbreak for Virginia, as Furman scored five points in the final 12 seconds to upset the Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

That disappointing finish was coupled with the departure of five of the top seven scorers, including four starters, from last year’s UVa squad.

Considering the altering landscape of college basketball, with Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) issues and the transfer portal playing bigger roles in roster construction than ever before, veteran UVa coach Tony Bennett has had to alter his traditional style of developing multi-year players in Virginia’s system.

To combat the departures of the key pieces from last season’s tournament team, Bennett and Co. brought in four players from the portal: Oklahoma forward Jake Groves, Georgetown point guard Dante Harris, Merrimack forward Jordan Minor and St. Thomas-Minnesota guard Andrew Rohde. Bennett also welcomed five true freshmen to this year’s team.

“It’s finding the right guys,” Bennett said. “And I think being as honest and truthful as you can, (I) know there’s going to be some ups and downs, but I don’t think you change the way you coach. I think the transfer portal, NIL has maybe allowed you to add some pieces to your team.

“I think the NCAA Tournament last year and the game in some ways is as good talent-wise as it’s been  — maybe it hasn’t been built like it was in years past, so that part makes it almost more challenging.”

At the halfway point of the 2023-24 season, many of the Cavaliers’ new pieces have yet to pan out. A preseason Associated Press Top 25 team, Virginia dropped out of the polls following a 77-54 loss at Memphis. Two games later, the Cavaliers fell on the road to Notre Dame by 22 points.

The Cavaliers’ roster has just one multi-year UVa starter in combo guard Reece Beekman. Last season’s ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Beekman has been one of the lone bright spots for the Wahoos, leading the team in scoring and topping the conference in steals.

“(We are) probably a little different than years past, when we’ve had so much experience and continuity,” Bennett said. “It is exciting, and I think you start with Reece because Reece has played — he’s (in) his fourth year. He’s our point guard. So that’s really important to have that. Then, we have two other guys who played.

“So not a lot of (returning) experience, but I think you rely on some of those guys and some of the transfers, and you just keep plugging and know what you are now is not going to be what you are at the end of the year.”


2023-24 Virginia Cavaliers
(11-4, 2-2 ACC; through Jan. 12)


PG Reece Beekman*, Sr. — 30 mpg, 13 ppg, 3 rpg, 48% FG, 76% FT, 28% threes, 90/26 ATO, 10 blocks, 33 steals
(6-3/194); 4-year starter; 2023 ACC DPOY; Scotlandville (La.) Magnet; Milwaukee, Wis.

G Isaac McKneely, So. — 29 mpg, 12 ppg, 3 rpg, 43% FG, 84% FT, 49% threes, 23/17 ATO, 3 blocks, 11 steals
(6-4/188); 22 mpg, 7 ppg, 2 rpg, 39% threes in 2022-23; Poca HS, Poca, W.Va.

G Andrew Rohde, So. — 29 mpg, 6 ppg, 3 rpg, 33% FG, 30% FT, 29% threes, 47/18 ATO, 1 block, 8 steals
(6-6/202); 2023 St Thomas transfer (Summit FOY); Brookfield Central HS, Milwaukee, Wis.

F Ryan Dunn, So. — 27 mpg, 10 ppg, 7 rpg, 56% FG, 58% FT, 22% threes, 14/12 ATO, 32 blocks, 30 steals
(6-8/216); 13 mpg, 3 ppg, 3 rpg in 2022-23; Perkiomen School; Freeport, N.Y.

F Jake Groves, Gr. — 20 mpg, 8 ppg, 3 rpg, 48% FG, 82% FT, 41% threes, 12/4 ATO, 2 blocks, 9 steals
(6-9/211); 2023 Oklahoma transfer (starter); Shadle Park HS, Spokane, Wash.

Key Reserves

PG Dante Harris, r-Jr. — 21 mpg, 4 ppg, 3 rpg, 32% FG, 58% FT, 50% threes (few), 8/7 ATO, 2 blocks, 6 steals
(6-0/170); 2023 UVa redshirt; 2022 Georgetown transfer (2-year starter); Washington, D.C.

G Taine Murray, Jr. — 13 mpg, 3 ppg, 1 rpg, 48% FG, 50% FT, 41% threes, 11/6 ATO, 1 block, 4 steals
(6-5/207); 3rd-year reserve at Virginia; Rosmini College; Auckland, New Zealand

G Elijah Gertrude, Fr. — 12 mpg, 4 ppg, 1 rpg, 41% FG, 70% FT, 9% threes, 4/8 ATO, 6 blocks, 8 steals
(6-4/185); 4-star/top-75 signee; Hudson Catholic Regional HS; Jersey City, N.J.

G/F Leon Bond III, r-Fr. — 15 mpg, 6 ppg, 4 rpg, 51% FG, 75% FT, 50% threes (few), 14/5 ATO, 5 blocks, 10 steals
(6-5/200); 4-star/top-75 signee; Wauwatosa East HS, Wauwatosa, Wis.

F Blake Buchanan, Fr. — 16 mpg, 4 ppg, 3 rpg, 40% FG, 56% FT, 8/11 ATO, 13 blocks, 9 steals
(6-11/225); 4-star/top-75 signee; state POY; Lake City HS; Coeur D’Alene, Idaho

*—returning starter (started at least 50% of current team’s games last season)

Virginia Cavaliers
10-Year Snapshot

Season — Overall, League (Place), Postseason

2022-23: 25-8, 15-5 ACC (t-1st), NCAA Round of 64 (Tony Bennett)
2021-22: 21-14, 12-8 ACC (6th), NIT Elite Eight (Tony Bennett)
2020-21: 18-7, 13-4 ACC (1st), NCAA Round of 64 (Tony Bennett)
2019-20: 23-7, 15-5 ACC (2nd), COVID (Tony Bennett)
2018-19: 35-3, 16-2 ACC (t-1st), NCAA CHAMPIONS (Tony Bennett)
2017-18: 31-3, 17-1 ACC* (1st), NCAA Round of 64 (Tony Bennett)
2016-17: 23-11, 11-7 ACC (5th), NCAA Round of 32 (Tony Bennett)
2015-16: 29-8, 13-5 ACC (2nd), NCAA Elite Eight (Tony Bennett)
2014-15: 30-4, 16-2 ACC (1st), NCAA Round of 32 (Tony Bennett)
2013-14: 30-7, 16-2 ACC* (1st), NCAA Sweet 16 (Tony Bennett)

*—conference champion

NOTE: Please visit the North Carolina Sports Network’s 2023-24 profiles and 10-year snapshots for all 19 Division One men’s basketball programs in North Carolina and all 15 Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Appalachian State Mountaineers, Sun Belt Conference

Campbell Camels, Coastal Athletic Association

Charlotte 49ers, American Athletic Conference

Davidson Wildcats, Atlantic-10 Conference

Duke Blue Devils, Atlantic Coast Conference

East Carolina Pirates, American Athletic Conference

Elon Phoenix, Coastal Athletic Association

Gardner-Webb Runnin’Bulldogs, Big South Conference

High Point Panthers, Big South Conference

NC Central Eagles, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

NC State Wolfpack, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina A&T Aggies, Coastal Athletic Association

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Atlantic Coast Conference

Pitt Panthers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Queens Royals, Atlantic Sun Conference

Syracuse Orange, Atlantic Coast Conference

UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Big South Conference

UNC Greensboro Spartans, Southern Conference

UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Coastal Athletic Association

Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Atlantic Coast Conference

Western Carolina Catamounts, Southern Conference