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21st Century Hot Shots

The best returning scorers in the ACC so far this century.

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NCAA Basketball: Duke at North Carolina
Mar 4, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson (1) and Duke Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen (3) fight for the ball in the first half at Dean E. Smith Center. 
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

This is an era when turnover among top personnel is so predictable, it would be a surprise if more than a handful of proven scorers returned to the ACC from one season to another.

This year, the shuffle is perhaps more pronounced than it’s ever been. Among the top 15 holdovers in scoring, only No. 14 Bryant Crawford of Wake showed up among the leaders entering the ‘17 season, and that was at No. 22.

The trend is toward flushing rosters due to early NBA departures or success by graduate students gone after a year. This go-round, a mere 40 percent of the top scorers return from the 2017 season (10 of 25). None of the top 10 in per-game scoring average return, just the second time that’s happened in the first 18 years of this century. The other was 2003.

Two of the ACC’s top point producers from 2017 are back – No. 4 Jerome Robinson of Boston College (18.7 points per game) and No. 9 Bonzie Colson of Notre Dame (17.8), a favorite for 2018 ACC player of the year. To their credit, just a season earlier neither Robinson nor Colson ranked among the conference’s 25-best scorers.

Robinson, this season’s top returning scorer, is one of two BC players to pace the league’s holdovers in this century. (That’s 19 seasons if you care to count 2000.) The other lingering Eagle, Olivier Hanlan, averaged 18.5 as a sophomore in 2015. He left for the NBA following his junior year.

Duke’s Grayson Allen, the top returning established scorer in 2017, was the preseason favorite for league player of the year. Instead injuries and emotional problems undercut his game. He’s now the 20th-best point producer (14.5) coming back. He figures to do better and is sure to be gone next season, if only because he’s a senior.

Top Scorers Returning From Previous Year, 21st Century
(Since 2000-01 Season)

Top 15

Rank Previous Year Top Returnee Avg/G Class
2018 4 NA,NA,22,NA J. Robinson, BC 18.7 Jr.
2017 3 2,3,14 G. Allen, D 21.6 Jr.
2016 6 9,11,12,13,14,15 X. Rathan-Mayes, FS 14.9 So.
2015 4 3,4,11,15 O. Hanlan, BC 18.5 Jr.
2014 6 4,5,9,12,14,15 J. Harris, V 16.3 Sr.
2013 8 4,6,7,9,10,13,14,15 C.J. Harris, WF 16.7 Sr.
2012 4 7,8,9,12 T. Zeller, NC 15.7 Sr.
2011 7 1,4,5,7,10,11,15 M. Delaney, VT 20.2 Sr.
2010 5 6,7,10,12,15 M. Delaney, VT 18.1 Jr.
2009 9 1,2,4,5,6,7,9,11,12 T. Hansbrough, NC 22.6 Sr.
2008 7 3,4,6,9,10,14,15 S. Singletary, V 19.0 Sr.
2007 8 2,5,7,8,9,12.13,14 T. Hansbrough, NC 18.9 So.
2006 8 1,2,4,7,9,10,11,12 J.J. Redick, D 21.8 Sr.
2005 9 2,3,5,7,9,10,11,14,15 Julius Hodge, NS 20.0 Sr.
2004 9 4,6,7,9,10,11,13,14,15 Julius Hodge, NS 17.7 Jr.
2003 2 12,13 Josh Howard, WF 15.9 Sr.
2002 9 2,4,6,7,8,10,12,13,15 Jason Williams, D 21.3 Jr.
2001 10 1,2,3,6,7,9,10,12,13,14 Will Solomon, C 20.9 Jr.
2000 6 5,6,9,12,14,15 Robert O'Kelley, WF 18.3 Sr.

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