Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop has carried No. 14 Ohio State in seemingly every game this season.
Now his efforts are earning recognition on the national level.
Bates-Diop’s name was one of 20 listed on the John R. Wooden Award top 20 list Monday on ESPNU. The award is given to both the top men’s and women’s basketball players during the regular season. It is voted on by “college basketball experts selected to collectively represent each of the 50 states,” the award’s website reads.
The 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward is averaging 20.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game this season. Advanced college basketball statistics website KenPom.com has Bates-Diop listed No. 5 in its player of the year standings.
Bates-Diop will need to play one of his best games of year at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, when he and the 14th-ranked Buckeyes take on No. 3 Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, for first place in the Big Ten.