In UVa basketball’s November 11th season opener against UNC Greensboro, the Hoos will be missing two key players: forwards Austin Nichols and Mamadi Diakite
Nichols, who transferred from Memphis to Virginia last season, has been suspended for “violating team rules.” He will be benched for the team’s first game and has missed both preseason scrimmages as a result. While NCAA regulations kept Nichols off the court for the 2015-2016 season, the 6’9″ forward is expected to be a major contributor for the Hoos this season. Before transferring to Virginia, Nichols started 60 games over two years and led Memphis in scoring with 13.3 points per game. During UVa’s summer trip to Spain, Nichols was the team’s leading scorer over five games. His teammates and fans are looking forward to finally seeing him in action during the regular season; London Perrantes told the Richmond Times that he is excited to play with Nichols, who he feels is “very skilled offensively” and “can finish pretty well with both hands.”
Also missing the upcoming season opener will be Mamadi Diakite. Originally from Guinea, Africa, Diakite redshirted last year after playing two seasons at Blue Ridge School. He will be missing the game after being evaluated of his amateurism, which took place last fall.