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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies pick up talented graduate transfer

Cartier Diarra is a solid addition for Mike Young.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff v Kansas State
New Virginia Tech guard Cartier Diarra
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

On the same day the Virginia Tech basketball program lost one player when sophomore wing Isaiah Wilkins entered the transfer portal, the Hokies picked up a really good graduate transfer.

Cartier Diarra comes to Virginia Tech from Kansas State. In three years with the Wildcats, Diarra played in 97 games, making 58 starts. As a junior in 2019-20, Diarra averaged 13 points, four rebounds and four assists per game.

This is a big move for head coach Mike Young. As he seeks to remake this team in his image, Diarra is an ideal fit. He should move right into the starting lineup next winter for the Hokies.

A 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, Diarra has improved offensively in each of his seasons on campus. However, he is considered an excellent defender who can guard three positions and should help the Hokes immensely on that end of the floor.

Back to Wilkins, his departure doesn’t appear to be his decision. According to the Roanoke Times, Young called Wilkins and was honest with him about his role moving forward, leading Wilkins to enter the transfer portal.

As for Diarra, it was reported later on Tuesday he had entered his name into the NBA Draft, while choosing to keep his eligibility should he remove his name. Apparently, Diarra plans on playing for the Hokies, but just wanted the NBA feedback.

Diarra is not Landers Nolley. However, he should help replace Nolley’s scoring along with a talented freshmen class coming to Blacksburg in the fall.

Diarra’s relationship with Virginia Tech assistant Chester Frazier helped pave the way for his expected arrival with the Hokies.