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2019 Player Profiles: Kody Stattmann has huge opportunity in year two

Can the Australian guard find a spot in the rotation?

NCAA Basketball: Morgan State at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019-20 Virginia Men’s Basketball team enters the season both as the reigning national champions and as a team with a lot of questions to answer. The biggest of questions exist in the back court as Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome departed for the NBA. Now, Kihei Clark will hold down the point guard role with newcomers such as Tomas Woldetensae and Casey Morsell. Second year Kody Stattmann will have an opportunity this season to step up as Coach Tony Bennett will need back court depth.

Stattmann saw action in 18 of Virginia’s 38 games last season, averaging 4.1 minutes per game. A lot of his playing time came early in the season as the Cavaliers ran through the non-conference portion of the schedule, but Virginia blew out 10 ACC opponents enough for the first year to see action. He averaged 1.7 points per game, shooting 42.9% from the field.

His performance at Saturday’s Pepsi Blue-White Scrimmage turned some heads, however. He scored 10 points — fourth of all performers behind Diakite, Huff, and Hauser — and showed good court vision with his passing.

As a member of the Australian U-19 team, Stattmann averaged 10.3 points, three rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game in this summer’s FIBA U-19 Basketball World Cup. He shot 46.5% from the field and 22% from three over the seven games of the event as Australia finished ninth overall.

Strengths and Weaknesses

At 6-7, Stattmann’s height is a big advantage for him. He’s also put on 13 pounds between last season and this season, which will give him more of an advantage on the court. While his ball handling on the drive is still questionable at times, he has the length to cause problems on both ends of the court.

“His efficiency as a passer stood out during Saturday’s scrimmage,” said the Daily Progress’ Bennett Conlin of Stattmann’s passing. “He didn’t always have the assist on scoring plays, but there were numerous occasions where his pass led to another pass that created an easy bucket. Fundamental passing is a valuable talent in Tony Bennett’s offense.”

As far as weaknesses go, Stattmann’s three-point shooting left a lot to be desired in his limited action. He went 4-for-15 (26.7%) from beyond the arc last season, although it’s both a small sample size and from a point in the game where it’s fine for Kody to take a stab at it. He did make two threes in the preseason scrimmage.

Best 2018-19 Game

Options were a little limited as Stattmann didn’t see a ton of playing time in his first season, but his nine point, one rebound performance against Morgan State was his highest point producing game of the season. Stattmann went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line, 2-for-4 from the field, and 1-for-2 from three.

Best 2018-19 Play

Who knew Kody had hops like this? Against NC State in the ACC tournament — also known as the Jack Salt Game — a strong second half from the Hoos put Virginia up big. Bennett put Stattmann in late, and he made the bench lose their minds as he drove the baseline for a slam dunk.

Check it out at the 6:59 point of the video:

The Stats

Height: 6-7

Weight: 200

Year: Second

2018-19 PPG: 1.7

2018-19 RPG: 0.6