CDP 0405 Final Four media day 143.JPG

ZACK WAJSGRAS/THE DAILY PROGRESS Virginia head coach Tony Bennett answers questions from the media in the locker room during media availability after practice at U.S. Bank stadium on Thursday. Virginia will take on Auburn in the Final Four on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Virginia men's basketball team got some good news late Wednesday night, when forward Mamadi Diakite announced that he would return for his senior season with the Cavaliers.

With Diakite's return and Marquette transfer Sam Hauser's commitment, Virginia's 2019-20 roster appears set. And despite the departures of star guards Ty Jerome, De'Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy, many pundits still expect the Cavaliers to be contenders next season. 

Most of the early top 25 lists released following the NBA Draft deadline have the Cavaliers ranked as a top 10 team. Here is a sampling.

CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein has Virginia ranked No. 8 in his poll.

Andy Katz of has the Cavaliers ranked No. 6 in his new Power 36 poll.

SB Nation ranked the Wahoos No. 8 in its early preseason poll.

Aaron Torres of Fox Sports Radio isn't as high as Rothstein and Katz on the Cavaliers, but still has them in the Top 25. Torres has the Wahoos ranked No. 16 in his poll.

Rob Dauster of NBC Sports and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports rank Virginia No. 8 in their preseason top 25.

A common thread among the early season college basketball polls is high rankings for ACC teams despite the departure of most of the league's top players.

Louisville, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia are all regular top 10 teams in the polls.

The Cardinals' stock rose highly when Jordan Nwora announced he would return to school on Wednesday. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels both bring in top 10 recruiting classes, while Virginia returns Diakite as well as guards Kihei Clark and Braxton Key and adds four-star recruits Casey Morsell and Kadin Shedrick.

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John Shifflett is The Daily Progress sports editor. You can contact him at (434) 978-7250,, or @John_Shifflett.

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