Buckeye Basketball: OSU's resurgent season factored in Bates-Diop's decision to turn pro


COLUMBUS -- Keita Bates-Diop knew he could play on the next level, he was just waiting on the right time to make his move. When the nationally ranked Buckeyes advanced to the NCAA Tournament, his decision to turn pro was mostly made.

The 6-7 forward told ABC-6, "You can't leave on a bad season. It just doesn't work like that but winning cures everything. The team got accolades, I got accolades and that probably made the final decision."

The Big Ten Player of the Year, also said he will hire an agent.

Bates-Diop, at 6-feet-7 with a lengthy wingspan, is ranked 19th in ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony's list of Top 100 NBA prospects.

He averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds a game for the Buckeyes, including 25 points in an NCAA tournament loss to Gonzaga last week.

Bates-Diop's productive redshirt junior campaign helped Ohio State become one of the conference's significant overachievers this season. His ability to play and guard multiple positions makes him a natural fit for the modern NBA game.

Bates-Diop, 22, steadily improved from his freshman year, playing parts of four seasons for the Buckeyes. After he suffered a fractured left leg nine games into the 2016-17 season, Bates-Diop was awarded a redshirt season that would have allowed him to return for a fifth year in 2018-19.

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