Virginia men’s basketball forward Mamadi Diakite watched from the sidelines last season while redshirting as a true freshman. The 6’9″, 214-pound Diakite will be able to show off his talents as a redshirt freshman in 2016/2017, although he admitted during UVA’s media day on October 17 that he will have to wait just a little bit longer for his first regular season game experience.
“I’m very anxious,” Diakite told TheSabre.com. “I’m actually not playing the first game because of an NCAA rule. I’ve gotten through all the stuff last year. I’ve been ready since last year.”
UVA has now confirmed Diakite’s statement with a statement of its own …
Virginia redshirt freshman forward Mamadi Diakite (Guinea, Africa) will miss the Cavaliers’ season-opening game at UNC Greensboro on Friday, Nov. 11, head coach Tony Bennett announced Tuesday (Nov. 1).
Diakite will miss one game as a result of the initial evaluation of amateurism, which was conducted by the NCAA and UVA in the fall of 2015.
Diakite redshirted the 2015-16 season after playing two seasons at Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va.
UVA’s frontcourt depth for the November 11 season opener versus UNC Greensboro has taken some hits, now with Diakite but also with the suspension of redshirt junior Austin Nichols. Nichols, who sat out last season after transferring from Memphis, has been suspended for each of Virginia’s preseason scrimmages as well as the UNC Greensboro game for a violation of team rules.
With Nichols and Diakite on the sideline, the Cavaliers’ frontcourt options against UNC Greensboro include junior forward Isaiah Wilkins, redshirt sophomore center Jack Salt, sophomore forward Jarred Reuter, and possibly true freshman forward Jay Huff.
Virginia enters the 2016/2017 season with the no. 8 team in the country according to the AP.