Virginia Basketball Notes: Mamadi Diakite Earns G League Camp Invite

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Virginia basketball redshirt junior forward Mamadi Diakite shined in the 2019 NCAA Tournament ~ Photo courtesy Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

Mamadi Diakite will be one of the participants at the inaugural NBA G League Camp, which begins Sunday, May 12 and runs through Tuesday, May 14. A plus performance could earn the 6’9” forward an invite to the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, which begins May 15 and runs through May 19.

A select number of players from the draft-eligible group will be invited to participate in the 2019 NBA Draft Combine based on their performance in the NBA G League Elite Camp. – an excerpt from the official press release on the new G League Camp from the NBA G League.

Along with Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter, and Ty Jerome, Diakite declared for the 2019 NBA Draft in the days following the University of Virginia men’s basketball team’s historic NCAA Championship run. While the former three are staying in the 2019 NBA Draft, Diakite has not made a final decision either way. A redshirt junior, Diakite has one season of eligibility left with the Hoos.

Sabre Editor Kris Wright provided his take on Diakite’s possible future plans in conversations on our Basketball Message Board.

“The momentum seems to be trending toward him leaving for professional basketball and that’s understandable,” Wright wrote in this post. “If you think about it, [Diakite has] been in Cville for almost a decade now between the Blue Ridge School and UVA.

“He’s got a lot of [positive] attributes and upside while he continues to improve. Does he stand to get better with another year at Virginia? Sure, I think that’s a given. Could he also get better elsewhere? Of course. I don’t know the long-term earnings scenarios for leaving vs. returning, NBA vs. overseas, etc. vs. etc.

“But if you take all the usual basketball side debates out of it and look at it as a kid from Guinea who came to this area 8 or 9 years ago and what’s possible for him out there now, it’s not hard to see a scenario where he wants to go make money playing basketball and seeing something different.”

Eyeing Backcourt Help, UVA Hosts Junior College Guard

Virginia currently has three open scholarship spots available for the 2019-20 season. If Diakite stays in the draft, however, the Cavaliers then have four open spots to fill. Regardless of Diakite’s decision, Virginia primary immediate needs for next season lie in the backcourt.

Enter Indian Hills Community College (IA) guard Tomas Woldetensae. The 6’5” sophomore was rumored to be on Grounds this past weekend, and 247Sports was the first to confirm that he was indeed at the University of Virginia on an official visit.

Woldetensae, a native of Bologna, Italy, attended Victory Rock Prep (FL) before enrolling at Indian Hills CC in 2017. According to the IHCC official website, the lefty sharpshooter averaged 17.3 points per game this past season, making 46.7% from the field – including 47.6% (100 of 210) of his 3s – and 88.8% (71-of-80) of his free throws on his way to earning National Junior College Athletic Association First-Team All-American honors. Additionally, he dished out 70 assists while committing 38 turnovers. The previous season, Woldetensae averaged 8.8 points (he made 39.4% of his 3s), had 104 assists and committed 46 turnovers.

Virginia needs to replace backcourt scoring production and needs ballhandling. Judging by his highlights below, Woldetensae could help in both areas.

In addition to UVA, Woldetensae is also considering Illinois, among others. He made an official visit to Champagne April 19-21. He will have two years of eligibility remaining wherever he chooses to go.

Hauser Brothers Update

In case you missed it, Marquette transfers Sam Hauser (Jr, G/F) and Joey Hauser (RS Fr, F) did not make a previously scheduled official visit to Michigan State this past weekend. To date, the talented brothers have only taken one official visit since announcing they were transferring from Marquette, and that was to Wisconsin.

Virginia is reportedly scheduled to host the Hausers the weekend of May 17-19. Whatever D1 school they end up transferring to, the Wisconsin natives will have to sit out the 2018-19 season before becoming eligible in 2019-20. Sam will then have one season of eligibility remaining, while Joey will have two.

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