Diakite

Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite (right) is one of the Cavaliers’ key returning players.

A day after being named to the Naismith Trophy watch list, Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite has been named to the John R. Wooden Award watch list.

Much like the Naismith trophy, this award is given to the top player in college basketball.

Diakite is one of 22 seniors on the 50-player list. He’s also one of five ACC players on the list, joining Louisville’s Jordan Nwora, UNC’s Cole Anthony and Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones.

Also like the Naismith Trophy, Duke’s Zion Williamson won the Wooden Award last season. Previous winners include Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Ralph Sampson, who won the award in 1982 and 1983, is the only UVa player to receive the honor.

Diakite takes the court for the first time this season Wednesday on the road against Syracuse.

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