Athletic 7’0” forward/center Francisco Caffaro has verbally committed to the University of Virginia and will enroll on Grounds this coming fall, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express and ESPN.com was the first to report Tuesday evening. The decision comes one day after Caffaro arrived in Charlottesville for a visit.
In his ESPN.com article on Virginia’s newest pledge, Givony describes Caffaro as a “a physical and energetic big man with a strong frame,” adding that the 17-year-old “will bring size and toughness on the defensive end to a Virginia squad that finished No. 1 in college basketball in defensive efficiency last season.”
Caffaro is a native of Argentina who has attended the Nike Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, for two years. On the NBA Academy website, the Global Academy is described as “an elite basketball training center at BA’s Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra. The NBA Global Academy will serve as the NBA’s global hub for top international male and female prospects from around the world. Up to twelve elite student-athletes attend The NBA Global Academy each year. They train under the supervision of NBA-trained coaches and in collaboration with BA’s internationally recognized coaches and Centre of Excellence teams.
“The AIS campus is home to world-class, elite high-performance facilities and leading sports practitioners in the fields of sports science, sports medicine and coaching. AIS is a world leader in high performance and is the flagship of the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Government’s sports agency. The NBA Global Academy student-athletes attend a local private school with all other AIS athletes.
“BA’s Centre of Excellence has produced many current and former NBA players, including Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Luc Longley , and Patty Mills.”
Caffaro, the reason why Virginia head coach Tony Bennett cut short his appearance at the Virginia Athletics Foundation event in Richmond on Monday (April 30), gives the Hoos three recruits in the class of 2018. The Argentine joins California point guard Kihei Clark and Australian wing Kody Stattmann. Caffaro chose the Cavaliers over Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and St. Mary’s. He visited all five schools with UVA getting the final trip.
There isn’t much in the way of highlights of Caffaro, but below are a few found on Twitter that demonstrate his plus athletic ability.
(You can also watch a full game between Caffaro (NBA Global Academy) and Stattmann (Queensland) in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Australia National Junior Championships (Under 20 Division) by clicking here. Caffaro is No. 11 in teal while Stattmann is No. 6 in maroon. Stattmann’s team won, but Caffaro had a double-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds. Caffaro averaged 16 points (54.9% FG) and 8 rebounds per game in six games during this tournament.)
🇦🇷 @fcaffaro123 cleans it up
— FIBA #Basketball (@FIBA) July 1, 2017
— Overtime (@overtime) April 1, 2018
With Caffaro on board, Virginia’s projected 2018/2019 season roster (scholarship players only) looks like this:
– Point Guards: Ty Jerome (Jr.), Kihei Clark (Fr.)
– Wings: Kyle Guy (Jr.), De’Andre Hunter (R-Soph.), Marco Anthony (Soph.), Kody Stattmann (Fr.)
– Posts: Jack Salt (R-Sr.), Mamadi Diakite (R-Jr.), Jay Huff (R-So.), Francesco Badocchi (R-Fr.), Francisco Caffaro (Fr.)
Given the returning post players as well as the fact that De’Andre Hunter should play significant minutes at the 4 once again, Caffaro shouldn’t have to assume a significant role his first year, although he could provide insurance in case Jay Huff’s recovery from a torn labrum doesn’t go as planned. If Caffaro does redshirt, you can see he has an intriguing combination of size and athleticism.