Mamadi Diakite

Virginia announces addition of four-star forward, will redshirt

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Virginia commitment Mamadi Diakite was a major grab for the Cavaliers, and Thursday night the school announced that he’ll be joining the program this season instead of next. Diakite won’t play in games however, as UVA has decided to redshirt him this season.

“We are excited and fortunate to add Mamadi to the Virginia basketball family this season,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said in the release. “Mamadi is an athletic forward with a big upside. We look forward to his development during his career at UVA.”

It had been widely discussed that the 6-foot-9 Diakite could potentially reclassify and join the Class of 2015 at Virginia, and that remained an option according to a report from Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times. Classes started nine days ago at Virginia, but Diakite is still hoping to get into college this year. Diakite had enough transcripts to graduate Blue Ridge in 2015, but his transcripts required translation from his native French.

“At this point, we are allowing the NCAA to evaluate Mamadi’s ability to be a member of the 2015 class instead of 2016,” Blue Ridge headmaster Trip Darrin said in an e-mail to Doughty. “We await their decision.

“There aren’t any new developments.”

This all changed Thursday night, as Virginia announced that Diakite has enrolled in classes and will redshirt this upcoming season. While Diakite will get to compete against veterans Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey in practices, he’ll also be able to work out with the strength and conditioning staff in preparations for what should be a significant role in 2016-17.


Mamadi Diakite becomes Virginia’s third four-star recruit in Class of 2016

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One day after helping Team Africa finish third in the adidas Nations, 2016 power forward Mamadi Diakite committed to Virginia.

Diakite told Jamie Oakes of , who first reported the news, that there is, “It’s 80 percent chance I enroll in 2015.” Although he sounded less certain about reclassifying when talking to Evan Daniels of “It’s a possibility,” he said. “We don’t know yet.”

The 6-foot-9 forward from the Blue Ridge School (Virginia) is ranked No. 30 in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He is the third four-star commit in Tony Bennett’s 2016 class, joining point guard Ty Jerome and shooting guard Kyle Guy. Three-star power forward Jay Huff rounds out the class. The 2016-17 campaign is the same season Memphis transfer Austin Nichols makes his debut for the Cavaliers. He committed to Virginia on July 26.

Diakite averaged 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in the adidas Nations this past week.

Report: Four-star forward could choose a school soon

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Four-star forward Mamadi Diakite is one of the most productive big men in the Class of 2016 and he could decide between three schools shortly, according to a report from Josh Gershon of The 6-foot-9 Diakite is going to decide between Virginia, USC and Washington and it could happen as soon as this week.

As the No. 30 overall prospect in Rivals’ Class of 2016 national rankings, Diakite would have the potential to come in and play right away and be productive at the college level. A plus rebounder who runs the floor and finishes with authority, Diakite can also protect the rim and he plays well with other big men.

Diakite still needs to add weight and refine his offensive game a bit, but he has a lot of upside and his motor allows him to compete for minutes right away.