Rutgers freshman guard Diamond Johnson will transfer to North Carolina State, she announced via social media last week.
The first thing she responded to me by text was one word, “Platform.”
Johnson recently entered her name into the transfer portal after having one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in Rutgers history. She averaged 17 points and six rebounds per game, with a 40/50/90 shooting split.
Diamond was second in scoring for Rutgers this season.
51 percent from the field.
45 percent from three.
90 percent from the foul line.
She’ll join an NC State team that was a no. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost to no. 4 seed Indiana in the Sweet 16. https://t.co/puLX3yZ9ug
— Martin S. (@marsoaries) April 9, 2021
Rutgers had one of the top-ranked recruiting classes this season, headlined by Johnson. They went into the Big Ten Tournament on a nine-game win streak but fell to Iowa and star freshman Caitlin Clark in the quarterfinal round.
Ranked as a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Scarlet Knights were then upset by 11-seed BYU in the first round.
Johnson finished as the team’s second-leading scorer behind senior Arella Guirantes. The WNBA Draft awaits Guirantes this week as a projected top-10 pick.
This may have confused Rutgers fans after learning of Johnson’s plans to transfer since the program would undoubtedly be hers to lead into the future.
Being the face of the program clearly wasn’t the sole priority for Diamond.
North Carolina State won the ACC this season and was a no. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They finished with a 22-3 overall record and lost to no. 4 seed Indiana in the Sweet 16.
Top 30 NCAA women's basketball teams generating the most interactions on official social accounts (IG+TW+FB) in March 2021. #smsports pic.twitter.com/kNbn8IDtKs
— SkullSparks (@SkullSparks) April 6, 2021
Diamond Johnson can attract attention anywhere she goes. Basketball is the only platform she really needs.
But the women’s basketball platform is surging as we speak. NCAA Tournament ratings and engagement from last month speak to that.
Diamond now gives herself an instant chance at a Final Four appearance and contending for a national championship, both of which I’d expect from the Wolfpack next season.