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THE BIG COUNTDOWN: First look at the Cavaliers at the Pepsi Blue-White Scrimmage

The 2019-20 Hoos took the court for the first time on Saturday.

UVA Media Relations

Saturday afternoon, Virginia basketball fans got a chance to see the women’s and men’s teams in action for the first time before the 2019-20 season gets underway. The Pepsi Blue-White Scrimmage with Tina Thompson’s team taking the court first, followed with the National Champion men’s squad, and closed with an opportunity for fans to get autographs from their favorite student-athletes.

The women’s team showcased returning stars like Jocelyn Willoughby and gave fans a chance to see first year players like Kylie Kornegay-Lucas in action.

On the men’s side, there are a lot of questions to answer following the departure of four starters and six overall players. After a warm-up (which included a dunk from a surprise player) they played a scrimmage with two halves, switching the teams up at the break. The white team starters were Chase Coleman, Tomas Woldetensae, Sam Hauser, Justin McKoy, and Francisco Caffaro, while Kihei Clark, Kody Stattmann, Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite, and Jay Huff started for the Blue team.

Diakite found Huff for an alley-oop to open the scoring, and that duo proved hard to guard throughout. Blue “won” the first half, 32-24. The first half also featured our favorite combo teaming up again, but this time not in as dramatic a situation:

The second half saw the teams switch up as Clark, Woldetensae, McKoy, Huff, and Jayden Nixon played for the White squad and Morsell, Stattmann, Hauser, Key, and Diakite made up the Blue team. Huff led the White team to a 23-16 victory in the second half.

The usage of Stattmann is interesting as he played alongside what you would consider the favorites to start. Obviously Hauser is unable to contribute this coming season due to having to redshirt after transferring from Marquette, but Stattmann getting real run alongside Clark, Key, Diakite, and Huff could indicate he’s further up the depth chart than fans may have expected.

Here was the final (unofficial) scoring tally, courtesy of the Daily Progress’ Bennett Conlin:

This was the first look at the four incoming first years — McKoy, Morsell, Shedrick, and Coleman — and transfers Hauser and Woldetensae.

After the scrimmage, Coach Bennett addressed the crowd to thank them for coming and for their support:


  • Diakite has clearly worked on his range and made three, three-point baskets. He seemed to have the green light to shoot from outside.
  • Morsell and Key had nice drives to the basket and finishes at the rim. Virginia will need to find scoring with the Big Three gone, and getting easy points in the lane is a good way to get that done.
  • Sam Hauser...he’s good. Like, really good. Really, really good.
  • It’s possible Morsell will work his way into the starting lineup (if he’s not there already).

Check out the highlights here:

The first game is just 22 days away as the Hoos hit the road to take on Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on November 6. Stay with Streaking the Lawn as we gear up for the season!