According to Pat Lawless of PrepCircuit, the Hoosiers are battling former head coach Tom Crean for a top east-coast point guard that turned heads at the NBPA Top 100 camp, which took place in Charlottesville, Virgina over this weeknd. Four-star 2020 PG Hassan Diarra received an offer from Indiana earlier in May of this year, but Georgia has been the longer player having offered the PSA Cardinal guard back in September of 2018.
As it stands, Diarra is a four-star PG that is ranked 65th overall in the 2020 class. He is the 8th highest ranked point guard of the class.
Among the schools after Diarra’s services including Penn State, Wake Forest, and Dayton, Diarra spoke specifically about the Georgia and Indiana programs.
On Indiana, the connection has been established from the very top with Archie Miller. Head Coach Archie Miller, a former high major point guard himself, has built a good relationship with Diarra. Enough of a relationship to convince Diarra to visit Bloomington sometime during the upcoming school year, presumably during basketball season.
[Indiana and I] are staying in contact, Coach Miller and I have a good relationship so far… I’m looking to take a visit there maybe during the school year or when it starts.Hassan Diarra interview from Pat Lawless
According to Hassan Diarra, Georgia is very serious about him. Tom Crean’s message to him is clear: the Bulldog staff believes Diarra can play in the NBA and they are the ones capable of taking him there.
I would say Georgia is very serious… [Tom Crean’s] message is he wants to get me to the next level and thinks he can get me to the next level… He really loves my game, stays in contact with me a lot like the whole coaching staff at Georgia.Hassan Diarra interview from Pat Lawless
Of note, Hassan wants to hold off on visits until the school year. While there will plenty of recruiting activity over the summer, one of the key things he will be watching for is the school’s environment when all of the students are on campus. For Indiana fans, that is music to the ears.
This is not the first recruiting battle that the Hoosiers have had with Georgia since Archie Miller took over the reigns as head coach of Indiana. More recently, 2019 Guard Harlond Beverly was a recruit that had visited both Indiana and Georgia, but ultimately elected to go to neither school. He signed with Miami just a day after his official visit to Georgia.
The Scouting Report on Hassan Diarra
Hassan Diarra is a fearless point guard that primarily looks to attack the rim. He has great ball control with both hands and can penetrate at full speed using his left or right hand. Naturally, he is a right-handed shooter and scorer, but if the opportunity gives him a cleaner look, he has no hesitation to use his left-hand to finish.
At his height, Diarra has a more filled out frame than other guards at his age, which lowers his body’s center of gravity. In turn, he has unique body control that you would find in many running-backs in the NFL. This is very useful when he needs to navigate between front court defenders or find ways to slip out of sticky situations. Also, his frame has given him the confidence to play off of contact. It seems that he almost prefers to feel the contact as he penetrates in the lane, and he uses the contact to bounce off defenders and create space.
On defense, Hassan has been coached to understand the importance of defensive stance and defensive posture. He has an athletic bend in his knees that allows him to be ready to move laterally in any direction, depending on the ball carrier. As you can see from his EYBL stats, he can keep up with some of the quickest guards and his peskiness results into steals.
Diarra’s passing is one of his top traits. At over 30 minutes per game for one of the top EYBL teams, Diarra can facilitate offenses at some of the highest levels of the game. He may not be as flashy of a passer as fellow 2020 Indiana targets RJ Davis or Caleb Love, but he certainly understands the importance of spacing and how floor-gravity works. He often finds teammates after he penetrates into center the defense.
Shooting is an area that Hassan Diarra is looking to improve. He is not a particularly great scorer, but he is certainly willing to take the shots if he is given open looks. Diarra makes his living off of penetrating into the lane and an occasional three-point shot if the defense is lagging behind.
Tom Crean’s Recruiting at the University of Georgia
As an update to Tom Crean’s recruiting, he has done extraordinarily well in that department at Georgia. His top-10 class in 2019 is ranked 8th overall in the nation. That recruiting class includes a top 2 player in the country, Anthony Edwards, and four other top 100 recruits to support him. Atlanta-area native Edwards is the highest rated recruit ever in the history of the Georgia basketball program.
Neither Indiana nor Georgia have any commitments in the 2020 class. You can read more on the 2020 Indiana basketball recruiting board here.