After being left off of the midseason watch list, the John R. Wooden Award has found Keita Bates-Diop.
Ohio State's star forward was named to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list Monday night, the same day he was awarded the Big Ten Player of the Week for the fourth time this season.
@KBD_33 has been named to the @WoodenAward Late Season Top 20 list! #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/SXSgaBx42X— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) February 5, 2018
Bates-Diop's absence from the midseason watch list on Jan. 11 came just four days after he scored what was then a career-high 32 points in an upset victory over then-ranked No. 1 Michigan State. A few days later, head coach Chris Holtmann made his voice heard on the matter, as he campaigned for his best player.
"For what it's worth, I don't look much into awards but you saw those Wooden things that came out midseason, I could not believe he was not on it," Holtmann said following Ohio State's 71-65 win over Northwestern on Jan. 17.
Through 25 games this season, Bates-Diop is averaging 20.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, good for first and third respectively in the Big Ten. He also ranks sixth in the conference in blocks per game (1.7) and 11th in free-throw shooting percentage (82.1).
Bates-Diop and the Buckeyes are set to return to action Wednesday night against No. 3 Purdue with tip set for 8:30 on Big Ten Network in West Lafayette, Ind.