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Previewing the 2021-2022 Virginia Men’s Basketball Roster

A complete breakdown of the roster for the 2021-2022 UVA men’s basketball season

Just a few days remain until the beginning of the college basketball season. On Tuesday, we examined the schedule for the 2021-2022 Virginia men’s basketball season. Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at the UVA basketball roster for the upcoming season, including a breakdown of every player on the roster and the projected starting lineup for the Hoos. 

First, let’s take a look at the complete Virginia men’s basketball roster:

2021-2022 Virginia Cavaliers Men's Basketball Roster

PlayerHeightPositionClass

Kihei Clark

5-10

Guard

Senior

Jayden Gardner

6-6

Forward

Senior

Reece Beekman

6-3

Guard

Sophomore

Armaan Franklin

6-4

Guard

Junior

Jayden Nixon

6-3

Guard

Senior

Taine Murray

6-5

Guard

Freshman

Malachi Poindexter

6-2

Guard

Sophomore

Chase Coleman

5-9

Guard

Junior

Kadin Shedrick

6-11

Forward

RS Sophomore

Francisco Caffaro

7-1

Center

RS Junior

Kody Stattmann

6-8

Guard

Senior

Igor Milicic Jr.

6-10

Forward

Freshman

Carson McCorkle

6-3

Guard

Sophomore

Key Departures

Roster turnover is a key storyline heading into the new Virginia men’s basketball season. The Cavaliers lost a number of key contributors from a season ago. Of the eight players who averaged at least 10 minutes played per game last season, just two of those players (Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman) remain on the team this season. Virginia lost Sam Hauser, Jay Huff, Trey Murphy, Tomas Woldetensae, Casey Morsell, Justin McKoy, Jabri Abdur-Rahim, and Austin Katstra. With the losses of Hauser, Huff, Murphy, and Woldetensae, UVA loses over 78% of its three-point production from last season. Hauser, Murphy, and Woldetensae all shot over 41% from three-point range. Overall, Virginia returns less than a quarter of its total scoring from last year.

Newcomers

Tony Bennett brings in a smaller incoming recruiting class, with Taine Murray and Igor Milicic Jr. being the lone commits in the class of 2021. Murray, a 6’5” wing from New Zealand, and Milicic, a 6’10” forward from Croatia, both have experience playing at the national basketball level and could see significant playing time early on. In addition to the incoming freshmen, Bennett also brings in a pair of impact transfers in Armaan Franklin and Jayden Gardner, who fill immediate needs for the Cavaliers. With UVA losing most of its three-point shooting production from last season, the Hoos will be very welcoming of Franklin, who shot 42.4% from three last year at Indiana and is also a tremendous on-ball defender at the guard position. Virginia’s losses were also heavily focused on the front court, with Sam Hauser and Jay Huff leading the way. With those players gone, UVA will lean heavily on East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner, who was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2020. 

Player Breakdown

Kihei Clark

Kihei Clark, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Kihei Clark

2020-2021 per game stats: 9.5 points, 4.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 34.0 minutes

Clark returns for his senior season as the most experienced player on the roster, having started 73 games in his career. Clark’s role in the UVA offense has varied tremendously throughout his first three seasons in Charlottesville. As a freshman, Clark was purely a facilitator charged with distributing the ball to Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and De’Andre Hunter. The next year, Clark became the team’s primary scorer and had the entire Cavalier offense on his shoulders. Last season, he became more of a facilitator again, getting open looks for Sam Hauser, Jay Huff, and Trey Murphy. With those players gone, it remains to be seen how much UVA will lean on Clark this season. It is clear that Clark is a more efficient player in the point guard role when there are other ball-handlers on the floor to take away some of the pressure of running the offense. Reece Beekman’s development as a facilitator and as a scorer will be key to Kihei Clark’s productivity on the offensive end as well as the success of the Virginia offense as a whole. 

Reece Beekman

Reece Beekman, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Reece Beekman

2020-2021 per game stats: 4.7 points, 3.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 29.4 minutes

Beekman joins Clark as the lone returning starters for Virginia and he showed a lot of promise in his first season. His numbers were far from record-breaking, but he showed an impressive feel for the game in terms of pace and poise as a freshman. Beekman’s quickness and length proved to be invaluable assets in terms of his on-ball defense and he led Virginia in steals last season, often turning those takeaways into easy transition buckets. Beekman’s shooting left something to be desired, with the obvious exception of his clutch buzzer-beating three pointer to beat Syracuse in the ACC quarterfinals last year. But, he is a great finisher at the rim and appears that he has developed his jump shot in the offseason, as Beekman hit a few mid-range jumpers off the dribble during the Blue-White scrimmage. As he shoulders more of an offensive load, Beekman could be primed for a massive leap in year two. 

Armaan Franklin

Armaan Franklin, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Armaan Franklin

2020-2021 per game stats (Indiana): 11.4 points, 2.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds

It is obvious that Virginia will rely heavily on Armaan Franklin’s ability as a perimeter shooter this season. Franklin shot 42.4% from three on just under four attempts per game last season at Indiana, a welcome addition to a Cavalier squad that returns not a single player who shot above 33% from three-point range last year. The more underrated value of Franklin’s game is his defense. Franklin led Indiana in steals last season and at 6’4”, 204 pounds, he has the measurements to effectively guard several positions on the floor. He gives the Cavaliers another solid on-ball defender at the guard position in addition to Clark and Beekman. Franklin figures to be a crucial piece for the Hoos on both ends of the floor this season. 

Jayden Gardner

2020-2021 per-game stats (East Carolina): 18.3 points, 1.4 assists, 8.3 rebounds

Gardner is perhaps the most exciting newcomer for the Cavaliers this season. Gardner has averaged 18.0 points and 8.7 rebounds through the first three seasons of his career. He is a two-time All-AAC performer and was the AAC Player of the Year in 2020. At 6’7”, 235 pounds, he is actually undersized at his position as a forward, but he more than makes up for it with his athleticism and skill set. Gardner can drive to the basket, has a number of effective post moves in his arsenal, and is capable of taking and making mid-range jump shots to stretch the defense. On the defensive end, he is quicker on his feet than the average big and is an active rebounder. If Gardner can get accustomed to the mechanics of the Pack Line Defense, he should be an asset on the defensive end for Virginia. It remains to be seen how Gardner’s game translates from the American Athletic Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference, but his potential to be a star for the Hoos this season is through the roof. 

Kadin Shedrick

Kadin Shedrick, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Kadin Shedrick

Shedrick enters the season completely healthy for the first time in his career. Injury troubles have largely prevented Shedrick from seeing the floor for extended stretches of his first two years in Charlottesville. Shedrick put on 15 pounds this offseason and now stands at 6’11”, 231 pounds. There is a Jay-Huff sized hole at the center position this season and Shedrick seems poised to fill it. Shedrick had an impressive performance in the Blue-White scrimmage, scoring 14 points and more than holding his own against Francisco Caffaro in their matchup in the post. He showed a surprising amount of touch, making a few jump hooks and also registered a few blocked shots on the defensive end. It will be interesting to see how Tony Bennett uses him in the Virginia offense, but it is certain that Shedrick will play a critical role as the anchor of the UVA defense. 

Taine Murray

Taine Murray, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Taine Murray

Murray is a first year, but make no mistake, he is by no means inexperienced when it comes to playing basketball at a high level. The New Zealand native has played in both the New Zealand National Basketball League and the Australian National Basketball League. Murray stands at 6’5”, 207 pounds and could play a big time role for the Hoos early in his career, depending on how he transitions on the defensive end in terms of adapting to the Pack Line Defense. Offensively, Murray is a versatile scorer, capable of slashing to the basket and also lighting it up from beyond the arc, which he showed when he hit this deep three at the end of the shot clock during the Blue-White scrimmage. 

Igor Milicic Jr. 

Igor Milicic Jr, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Igor Milicic Jr. 

Much like Taine Murray, Igor Milicic Jr. is a foreign player who is more ready to play than the average first year. Milicic played for Orange Academy Ratiopharm in the German Pro B League last season, averaging 13.3 points and 5.2 rebounds. Standing at 6’10” and 224 pounds, Milicic’s measurements alone make him a viable option to garner playing time for Tony Bennett at the forward position this season. Milicic is a solid rebounder and has the ability to stretch the floor with a decent shooting stroke from the perimeter. If his defense meets Tony Bennett’s standards, we could see the first year on the floor a lot this season. 

Francisco Caffaro

Francisco Caffaro, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Francisco Caffaro

Caffaro played for Argentina in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and UVA is hopeful that his experience playing at the international level continued to move along Caffaro’s development as a basketball player. Caffaro and Shedrick will try to fill in the shoes of Sam Hauser and Jay Huff in the UVA front court. At 7’1” and 242 pounds, Caffaro’s strength and size will be an asset on the defensive end, but also as a screen-setter for Virginia’s offense. 

Kody Stattmann

Kody Stattmann, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Kody Stattmann

Stattmann enters his senior season having experienced a terrible stretch of injuries and illnesses, which have largely kept him off the court for the last two seasons. Stattmann missed six games in the 2019-2020 season due to a concussion as well as illness and he missed 15 games last year due to “non-COVID-19 related cardiac issues.” The 6’8” guard could earn himself some minutes on the floor this season with his perimeter shooting ability, which remains a serious need for Virginia. 

Carson McCorkle

Carson McCorkle, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Carson McCorkle

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Similar to Stattmann, McCorkle also has a chance to see playing time off the bench this season as a sharpshooter. The 6’3” guard played just 21 minutes in eight appearances all of last season, but McCorkle could see those numbers increase drastically if he can hold his own on defense and deliver on the offensive end with his pure shooting stroke. 

Jayden Nixon

Jayden Nixon, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Jayden Nixon

Nixon, a Charlottesville native, has logged 63 minutes in 22 games played in his three-year career at UVA. Nixon saw real-game action early on in the 2019-2020 season as Tony Bennett experimented with different lineups, but his time on the court will likely be limited this season. 

Chase Coleman

Chase Coleman, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Chase Coleman

Coleman, a junior from Norfolk, Virginia, is the unquestioned leader of the bench mob and has aspirations to become a basketball coach one day. You won’t see us telling him no. Coleman also played in 17 games in the 2019-2020 season as Tony Bennett looked for options to relieve Kihei Clark at the point guard position. 

Malachi Poindexter

Malachi Poindexter, Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

Malachi Poindexter

Poindexter attended St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville and played in three games last season as a walk-on.

Projected Starting Lineup

Kihei Clark

Reece Beekman

Armaan Franklin

Jayden Gardner

Kadin Shedrick


Catch up on all the Virginia basketball news and storylines

UVA Basketball Blue-White Scrimmage

UVA Basketball Blue-White Scrimmage: What We Learned

UVA Basketball Blue-White Scrimmage Highlights

Preseason Polls and Awards

ACC Preseason Poll: UVA Picked to Finish Fourth, Clark Makes ACC Second-Team

UVA Basketball Ranked No. 25 in AP Preseason Poll

Kihei Clark Named to Cousy Award Watch List

Jayden Gardner Named to Watch List for Karl Malone Award

ACC Tipoff

ACC Tipoff: Tony Bennett’s Best Soundbites

ACC Tipoff: Kadin Shedrick Ready to Succeed Huff and Hauser in the UVA Front Court

ACC Tipoff: Tony Bennett Addresses Name, Image, and Likeness

ACC Tipoff: Reece Beekman Eager to Begin Sophomore Campaign

Tip-Ins:

Tony Bennett’s Masterful 2021 Recruiting Campaign

UVA Men’s Basketball ACC Schedule Released

Tony Bennett Speaks on Kihei Clark’s Offseason Improvements as a Shooter


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