Virginia Basketball picked up their first 2018 commitment at the end of August when Australian Kody Stattmann chose the Hoos. Stattmann, a 6-7 shooting guard, is a bit of an unknown quantity to the Virginia faithful, so to find out more, we reached out to Corey Evans from Rivals. Give him a follow on Twitter (@coreyevans_10) and check out his answers below!
Streaking the Lawn: I think the first reaction of most Virginia fans to seeing the news break of Kody's commitment was, "Who?". What's your basic overview of Kody?
Corey Evans: Kody is a big time shooter of the ball that has really made a name for himself over in his native Australia. He might not be a highly lauded prospect in the United States that many UVA fans are clamoring for but he does possess great upside and should fit in seamlessly within the confines of Tony Bennett’s system over the next four years.
STL: You recently (August) saw him play at the Adidas Nations event. What stood out to you about Kody?
CE: Kody is a really, really good shooter. His feel for the game along with size at near 6-foot-7 does not hurt his cause either. Guys with his size and shooting abilities are hard to come by in the United States on the recruiting trail; the fact that he does it at such a high rate as he led the entire event in 3-pointers made, but is also a much underrated passer of the ball, should bring major value to Virginia.
STL: What would you call Kody’s biggest weakness?
CE: Stattmann isn’t a great athlete, nor is he very strong. He really needs to pack on the weight in the coming years and also show that he can handle the ball against tougher on-ball defenders. For someone that shoots it at such a high rate but can also pass the ball, the fact that he cannot handle it outside of one or two dribbles hurts things some. The good thing is that strength and ball handling are two things that can be improved upon with hard work, an element of the game that should not be a deficiency of his.
STL: How do you see him fitting in at Virginia?
CE: I do worry about Stattmann’s athleticism and how he can move laterally where at Virginia, if you cannot defend, you are not going to see the floor. However, his ability to step in and shoot the ball at such a high rate should be welcomed immediately. I also would not be surprised to see Stattmann buy in like Jay Huff and Deandre Hunter had done last year and use a redshirt year to get stronger and work on his downfalls. Either way, Stattmann does one thing very well, which is shoot the basketball. He will likely be used either as a three or a four and flourish accordingly.
STL: Which Virginia player in recent history is Kody most similar to?
CE: No way am I saying that Stattmann is this guy but there are some dimensions of Joe Harris with the Aussie wing. Just like Harris, I could see Stattmann shooting above 40-percent from 3-point range for his college career, a mighty stat, but asking him to average in double figures each season may be looking for a bit too much.
STL: With the class of 2018, who else do you think could be joining Kody (or who is leaning towards UVA). Could he affect any other commitments?
CE: Virginia desperately need and wants to add a point guard this fall. The commitment of Stattmann forced UVA to jump off Noah Locke, a priority of theirs entering the latter summer months, though it should not affect Luther Muhammad or Jared Butler. The former visited campus at the beginning of the month while Butler took an official visit to Charlottesville last weekend. They are not the leader for either of the two but they have also picked up major ground with the top-150 talents.
A huge thanks to Corey for taking the time to chat. Virginia’s season schedule is reported to be released this afternoon, so stick with Streaking the Lawn for updates.