COLUMBIA, Mo. — Dennis Gates has landed his first recruit in Missouri.
Mohamed Diarra, a 6-foot-10 junior college pretender from Garden City Community College in Kansas, announced his verbal acceptance of Mizzou on Friday. Recently named Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year, Diarra averaged 17.8 points and 12.6 rebounds per game last season while shooting 45.2% from the floor.
Diarra, originally from Paris, has attracted interest from Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, among other high and mid-major programs.
He led the Jayhawk Conference in free throws (147) and ranked second in blocks (71) while hitting 20 double-doubles. He also shot 30% from 3-point range.
“When you’re 6-foot-10 and you play as hard as he does, that goes a long way. He’s very fast, obviously has a very large wingspan, is athletic, can go around guys or over guys and senses every rebound. It’s the only thing that’s going to get him attention at the next level,” Garden City coach Bill Morosco told 247Sports.com earlier this season as Diarra began attracting a lot of interest from recruiters.
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“Next is its mobility,” Morosco added. “A 6-foot-10 kid usually can’t switch to a guard and play a great defense. He can guard one to five very fluently. I don’t think he’s been knocked out once on a Switch this season. In addition, he is very skilled offensively. He’s a good 3 point shooter, ball handler, great passer and was able to play through it offensively. A lot of teams would love a 6-10 guy on defense and rebound but try to hide him on offense and he’s a guy we rely on a lot on offense.
Diarra still has three years of eligibility left and should bring some much-needed size and athleticism to Gates’ court, especially if freshman Trevon Brazile actually moves to another program. Brazile and senior guard Javon Pickett officially entered the NCAA transfer portal earlier this week, although Gates has already begun recruiting them back into Mizzou’s roster.