March 7, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State redshirt junior Keita Bates-Diop has been named one of five finalists for the 2018 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.
The winner of the award, which is named after the Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA All-Star, will be honored at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in downtown Los Angeles April 6. Fans are encouraged to visit HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 9-23.
A native of Normal, Illinois, Bates-Diop ranks second in the Big Ten at 19.4 points per game, third with 8.8 rebounds per contest and sixth with 54 blocked shots. His 12 double-doubles rank second in the Big Ten as the Buckeyes are 11-1 when he notches a double-double in 2017-18. Bates-Diop has scored in double figures in 30 of 32 contests, helping Ohio State to a 24-8 record.
Last week, Bates-Diop became the seventh Big Ten Player of the Year in program history and was a unanimous first team All-Big Ten selection. A semifinalist for the Naismith Player of the Year Award, Bates-Diop was named USBWA District V Player of the Year earlier this week in addition to garnering second team All-America honors from The Sporting News.