Virginia Tech snags top grad-transfer Cartier Diarra
Placing his name into the Transfer Portal last week, Kansas State guard Cartier Diarra quickly came to a decision for where he will complete his college career. The South Carolina native, who has opted for a graduate-transfer year, committed to Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
WHO HE IS
Diarra comes to the ACC program after completing his first three seasons at Kansas State. He averaged 23 minutes per game or more in each of his seasons in Manhattan, while receiving starts in 58 of the 95 games the he appeared in. During his freshman season, he scored in every game of Kansas State’s run to the Elite Eight.
A capable combo guard, Diarra bumped his scoring numbers by close to seven points per game this past winter, where he posted 13.3 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds. He is also a major cog on the defensive end that is capable of guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter weapon. The 6-foot-4 junior has also left the option of entering the NBA Draft as long as he receives the proper feedback from the professional realm.
WHAT HE WILL BRING
As noted, Diarra is a do-it-all guard that can and will check every part of on the box score. If he does ultimately enroll and declines the chance at the NBA, Diarra should be a day-one producer and have the chance to be the leading scorer for the Hokies next year.
The Hokies lost Landers Nolley to transfer but will enroll Rivals150 guards Darius Maddox and Joe Bamisile in the backcourt. Stalwart lead guard Wabisse Bede will also return, as will Jalen Cone, Nahiem Alleyne, Tyrese Radford and Hunter Cattoor. It may present a numbers issue to second year head coach Mike Young but it is also a perimeter core that is well stocked with ballhandlers, shot makers and toughminded two-way guards.
Questions remain in the frontcourt in Blacksburg but Diarra’s commitment should give Virginia Tech one of the better backcourts in the ACC. Per-game averages comparable to what he achieved last season should be expected during Diarra’s final year of play.