Virginia's Mamadi Diakite (25) looks to pass during the Blue-White Scrimmage at John Paul Jones Area.

Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite was named to the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award watch list Thursday. Diakite, a redshirt senior, is one of 20 power forwards on the list.

With several key scoring threats gone, Diakite is expected to play a critical role both offensively and defensively for this year’s UVa team.

He averaged 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game last season.

Diakite worked on adding a consistent 3-point jump shot to his game this offseason, and the work looked to pay off in last weekend’s Blue-White Scrimmage.

Diakite buried three shots from beyond the newly extended 3-point line and scored 15 points in the game.

The watch list includes two ACC players in addition to Diakite, North Carolina’s Garrison Brooks and Notre Dame’s John Mooney. Diakite and Mooney were both preseason All-ACC selections.

By mid-February, the watch list will be narrowed to 10 players. Five finalists will be selected in March, and the winner will be announced in April.

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