As the weather in Charlottesville gets a bit cooler, Virginia men’s basketball fans become anxious to kick off the regular season. The Virginia Hoo Crew and followers across the nation have a lot to look forward to.
In addition to the returning players from Tony Bennett’s stacked squad, the Virginia Cavaliers enter the new season with potentially five new threats to the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. The new additions, Kihei Clark, Braxton Key (Alabama transfer Jr.), Kody Stattmann, Francesco Badocchi (R-Fr.) and Francisco Caffaro, promise great potential for the future of the ‘Hoos men’s basketball program.
Traveling from all around the world, these new players have had a few months to get settled in the city of Charlottesville and get their bearings down here on grounds. The players family section in the John Paul Jones Arena could be flooded with international guests this season. Argentinian Francisco Caffaro and Australian Kody Stattmann add to the already existing international feel on the roster with redshirt freshman Francesco Baddochi (Italy), junior Mamadi Diakite (Guinea), and senior Jack Salt (New Zealand).
Kody Stattmann from the land down under
An absolute bomber from the three-point line, freshman Kody Stattmann promises to be a powerful asset from the wing for the Cavaliers. As a near 6-foot-7 big-time shooter, Stattmann was a hot commodity as a recruit and has size and strength that is hard to come by.
While there is talk that he might not be completely ready to join the squad of returning guards, Stattmann’s stats promise lots of potential for the future of the Cavaliers.
Strength in Size with Francisco Caffaro
Easily recognized for his 7-foot, 233-pound presence, Francisco Caffaro from El Trebo, Santa Fe, Argentina, has turned some heads not only on campus but also in his performance this summer at the FIBA Americas Championship. In addition to his foreign roots and noticeable size, Caffaro marks himself as unique as one of the first NBA Global Academy graduates to commit to an NCAA school.
Since the age of 15, Caffaro has represented Argentina in FIBA national tournaments four different times and has stood out as a leader on the team. Although there is talk that he may need to take this season to redshirt and hit the weight room, he resembles an important piece of Virginia’s equation, Isaiah Wilkins, that Virginia has been looking to replace.
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