Kansas St Oklahoma St Basketball

Oklahoma State forward Yor Anei and guard Isaac Likekele (13) watch as Kansas State guard Cartier Diarra (2) shoots during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Oklahoma State won 69-63. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State guard Cariter Diarra is leaving the program with the intention of turning professional, though he is leaving open the option of transferring to another school for his senior season.

Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said in a statement Thursday that his leading primary ball-handler and second-leading scorer will graduate this spring. That would allow Diarra to play elsewhere next season without having to redshirt.

Diarra averaged 7.1 points as a freshman, when the Wildcats advanced all the way to the Elite Eight, and 6.8 points two years ago, when he helped them tie Texas Tech for the regular-season Big 12 championship. Diarra averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 assists last season, when the Wildcats slumped to an 11-21 record.

Diarra was often seen at odds with Weber during the difficult season in Manhattan, though both brushed off their verbal spats as simply heat-of-the-moment situations common in big-time college basketball.

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