Weber Announces the Signing of Cartier Diarra

Highlights

Pronunciation Guide: car-tee-YAY dee-ARR-uh

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the signing of high school guard Cartier Diarra (Florence, S.C./West Florence) on the first day of the Spring National Signing Period on Wednesday.

A 6-foot-4, 185-pound point guard, Diarra is highly-regarded among the recruiting services, ranking as the No. 54 point guard in the nation by 247Sports and rated the fourth-best player in the state of South Carolina. He ranked No. 11 on a list of the Top 25 players in South Carolina by the Charlotte Observer.

“It’s great to welcome Cartier and his family to K-State and our basketball family,” said Weber. “When we were evaluating our needs for the coming year and our available scholarships, we knew that we needed depth in our backcourt – someone who could give us some point guard play but also play some at the two. Cartier’s name came up many times in recruiting circles and we were able to jump in at the right time and get him on a visit.  

“Cartier is a versatile combo guard who has exceptional athleticism and a strong basketball IQ. He is great in the transition game and has a unique ability to get to the basket to score or to drop it to a teammate. He’s only seriously been playing basketball since his sophomore year and has skill development has just gotten better and better. That’s credit to not only his work ethic but to his high school coaches and mentors. He’s very committed and hungry to improving his game.”

Diarra helped West Florence to consecutive 19-win seasons the past two seasons, including a 19-6 overall record and a trip to the Class 4A State Tournament as a senior in 2015-16. He was named to the Class 4A All-State team by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association (SCBCA) and was selected as the Region 6-4A and Florence (S.C.) Morning News Player of the Year. He recently posted a team-high 15 points and 7 rebounds to help South Carolina beat North Carolina, 114-91, in the annual Carolinas All-Star Basketball Classic on March 19.

During his 3-year varsity career at West Florence, Diarra scored in double figures 50 times with 16 20-point games, while he tallied 27 career double-doubles and eight triple-doubles (points/rebounds/assists). He posted a 3.14 career assist-to-turnover ratio (330 assists to 105 turnovers). In all, he averaged 13.4 points on 55.3 percent shooting (311-of-562), including 35.6 percent (47-of-132) from 3-point range, with 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in 69 career games played.

Originally from Manhattan, N.Y., Diarra moved to Florence, S.C., during high school where Sharone Wright served as a mentor. Wright played at Clemson (1991-94) and was the No. 6 overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft.

Diarra is the fourth member of the 2016 Signing Class, joining the earlier announcement of Brian Patrick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Boyd Anderson) as well as James Love III (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage) and Xavier Sneed (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) who signed in November.

Cartier Diarra
6-4 // 185 // PG
Florence, S.C. // Originally from Manhattan, N.Y.
High School: West Florence (coached by Peter Ellis)
AAU: Flight 22 (coached by Nathan Faulk)
Primary Recruiter: Chester Frazier

Bio:
A highly-regarded prospect by the recruiting services, ranking as the No. 54 point guard in the nation according to 247Sports, including the fourth-best player in the state of South Carolina… He was rated as the No. 11 player on the list of the Top 25 players in South Carolina by the Charlotte Observer.
Led West Florence to back-to-back 19-win seasons as a junior and senior, including a 19-6 overall record and a trip to the Class 4A State Tournament in 2015-16.
Selected to the 2016 South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association (SCBCA) Class 4A All-State team as a senior… Also named the Region 6-4A and Florence (S.C.) Morning News Player of the Year.
Named MVP of the Gatorade Turkey Shootout and Pepsi Carolina Classic.
Invited to play in the Carolinas All-Star Basketball Classic on March 19, which annually pits the top seniors from both North and South Carolina… Posted a team-high 15 points and 7 rebounds in helping South Carolina defeat North Carolina, 114-91.
Averaged 13.4 points in his 3-year varsity career on 55.3 percent shooting (311-of-562), including 35.6 percent (47-of-132) from 3-point range, with 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in 69 games played… Connected on 69.5 percent (257-of-370) from the free throw line.
Totaled 926 points, 535 rebounds, 330 assists, 175 steals and 92 blocks in his career.
Scored in double figures 50 times in his career, including 16 20-point games.
Tallied 27 career double-double with 8 triple-doubles (points/rebounds/assists).
Posted a 3.14 career assist-to-turnover ratio (330 assists to 105 turnovers).
Averaged 18.8 points on 62.7 percent shooting (158-of-252), including 32.7 percent (17-of-52) from 3-point range, to go with 11.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 3.6 steals and 2.1 blocks as a senior in 2015-16… Also connected on 77.4 percent (137-of-177) from the free throw line… Shot 70.5 percent (141-of-200) from inside 3-point range… Played in all 25 games.
Led the Knights in rebounding, assists and steals and was second in scoring and blocks as a senior.
Scored in double figures in 24 of 25 games played with 12 20-point games… Scored a season-high 26 points on 10-of-11 field goals vs. Wilson (1/5/16).
Tallied 22 double-doubles (21 points/rebounds and 1 points/assists) in 25 games.
Collected seven triple-doubles (points/rebounds/assists), including a stretch of three in a row.
Registered double-digit rebounds 21 times, including a season-high 15 vs. Socastee (1/29/16).
Dished out double-digit assists 8 times, including a season-high 13 vs. Lake City (12/29/15).
Grabbed at least 2 steals in every game, including a season-high 7 done 3 times.
Posted at least 1 block in every game, including a season-high 4 vs. Hartsville (12/5/15).
Had his best all-around game as a senior vs. Hartsville (12/5/15) with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 7 steals and 4 blocks.
Averaged 12.9 points on 52.6 percent shooting (110-of-209), including 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from 3-point range, to go with 7.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game as a junior in 2014-15.

West Florence Head Coach Peter Ellis:
“Over the years, I think the most impressive thing about Cartier (Diarra) has been his rate of improvement. It has been staggering. He didn’t even play as a ninth grader so to see how much better he has gotten from his 10th grade year and on is a credit to his tremendous work ethic. He’s like a sponge. The more coaching he gets the better he wants to become. Obviously, he’s a physically gifted player with all the tools but also a very heady player who just makes his team better. I call him a ‘Jack of all trades’ – he can handle the ball, score it, rebound and defend – he is just fundamentally sound. But I think his greatest strength is his ability to get to the rim. He can finish at the basket, but also dish to a teammate. He is just so creative at getting to the rim. I think K-State got a steal with Cartier.  Coaches (Bruce) Weber and (Chester) Frazier were some of the first coaches to recruit him and he has just blown up since then. I think his ceiling is high at K-State.”