3-Star Guard Chooses Virginia

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The Virginia Men’s Basketball program landed its 3rd commitment for the 2005 recruiting class today. Mamadi Diane , a 6-5, 175-pound shooting guard out of DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD), chose UVa over official offers from Georgetown, Miami (Fl) and West Virginia.

Diane verbally committed today on his way home from an official visit to UVa. He made an unofficial visit to Charlottesville less than a month ago.

“After spending the day with the players and hearing the positive things they were saying about the program, I decided Virginia was the place for me,” Diane said. “On my way home, I called Coach [Gillen] and told him I wanted to come to Virginia.”

Diane was hosted by sophomore point guard T.J. Bannister, who, Diane says, made the decision a lot easier to make.

“It wasn’t that tough of a decision actually,” Diane said. “I spent the day with T.J. Bannister and he told me the good and bad points. I trusted what he had to say. He answered all of the questions I had.”

With UVa being only a little over 2 hours away from his home, Diane’s family will be able to see a lot of his games. He was accompanied on the trip by his father and brother.

“They are very excited,” Diane said, referring to his father and brother. “They also had very good feelings [about UVa]. They felt comfortable around the coaching staff. They also liked what the academic advisors had to say.”

A 2-guard in high school, the athletic and versatile Diane could play shooting guard or wing forward positions. As a junior last season, he averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds per game (including 7 offensive rebounds per game). A good shooter, Diane shot over 40-percent from behind the arc last season.

The TheInsiders.com 3-star prospect believes he has the ability to compete for early playing time as a true freshman, and looks forward to the challenge of the ACC.

“It’s the greatest conference in America,” Diane said of the ACC. “It’s the conference I grew up watching. I believe my style fits in well with the ACC. At the same time, I know I have a long way to go. I’m going to put in the work to be able to play on that level next year. The coaches told me I’d have the opportunity to play early, but that it depends on how hard I work. They are also pretty confident that I can do it.”

Academically, Diane