Back in May, Indiana head coach Archie Miller spoke about Butler graduate transfer Joey Brunk bringing a personality, passion and an energy level to the IU program.
Those intangibles matter to Miller as the IU roster continues to transform from the Tom Crean era.
Something else that the former North Carolina State player places a high value is his own point guard position. Miller has often referred to the point guard as an extension of the coaching staff, saying this earlier in the week at the IU basketball media day:
“As the head coach, I look at our point guards in a very different manner than I do all other positions. I think it’s the most important position on the team,” Miller said.
When you marry up the passion and energy with a point guard, you get a guy like class of 2020 New York native Hassan Diarra. It should then come as no surprise that he is someone that Miller and the IU coaching staff have been making a high priority.
Indiana coaches have been out to see Diarra at least three times over the last three weeks, and now the 6-foot-2 guard is coming to Bloomington for an official visit this weekend — Sept. 27-29.
Diarra is originally from the Corona neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Something of a throw back with his tenacious, gritty style, he played high school basketball at Holy Cross in Flushing for two seasons and now attends Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.
Tom Espinosa is Diarra’s high school coach at Putnam Science Academy, and he spoke glowingly of his point guard to The Daily Hoosier —
“The kid is the absolute best. We’ve never had an issue with him for two and a half years. He’s probably the mentally toughest kid we’ve ever had in our program, and physically one of the toughest as well. The kid is really special.”
Interestingly enough, as Diarra arrives on the IU campus this weekend he is coming off a visit at Georgia with Crean last weekend.
Will Diarra be a throw back to the Crean era, or will he become another part of a Miller 2020 class that seems to fit the mold of what the now third year head coach is seeking in Bloomington?
This weekend should go a long way in providing the answer.
Status — OFFERED (May 2019)
Hometown – Queens, New York (Putnam Science Academy, Conn.)
Position – Point Guard
Height – 6-foot-2
Weight – 180
AAU – PSA Cardinals (Nike EYBL)
247 Sports Composite Rating – 4-star (No. 64 overall / No. 11 point guard)
Primary Competition – Texas A&M and Georgia
Timeline — Diarra is taking official visits now and appears to be on track for a fall decision and November early signing. In addition to Georgia and IU, the other known official visit is scheduled with Texas A&M on Oct. 12.
Indiana Connections — The IU coaching staff is well connected to the PSA program, especially Archie Miller and Bruiser Flint. IU has made Diarra a priority recruit.
Numbers — During Nike EYBL (AAU) play Diarra averaged 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in 29.5 minutes per contest. He shot 41.4% overall from the field including 28.6% (10-for-35) from three point range and had 2.1 turnovers and 1.3 steals per game.
RECRUITING SERVICE ASSESSMENTS
“You can look at a box score and see his contributions but the real joy is watching him defensively. He plays with such passion and with so much to prove. He’s an unselfish player, plays with a lot of grit and plays with that signature New York toughness that makes him standout.”
— DeAnte’ Mitchell, Rivals
“It runs in my family,” Diarra said. “We’re all tough, we don’t back down from anything. We just love the game so much that we just show it on the court with our toughness.”
— Hassan Diarra (via 247Sports)
“One of the toughest floor generals in the class.”
— Brian Snow, 247Sports
“I’ve never had anyone like this. This kid had not had one bad practice in two years. He’s so mentally tough. He’s such a smart kid. Every game, every practiced, every film session, every day, he’s just ready to go. Pros do that.”
“Indiana’s going after me pretty hard. Archie Miller, he’s a great coach, we talk a lot. Indiana has great history, so that’s very intriguing to me.”
“I am looking for a place with a family environment, where I have a good relationship with the head coach, and a playing style that is good for me.”
This video is from the summer, so somewhat dated, but simply intended to give you a look at Diarra as a person.
This was produced during Diarra’s junior season of high school: