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ESPN says Olivier Sarr’s waiver is one of the biggest remaining offseason decisions in CBB

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

As we approach the two-month mark following Olivier Sarr’s commitment to Kentucky, fans are on the edge of their seats waiting on the NCAA to decide his fate for the 2020-21 season.

Sarr has made the trip to Lexington and is officially moved in at the Wildcat Coal Lodge, but there is still no guarantee the 7-foot center will be eligible to take the floor this season.

With Sarr, Kentucky instantly becomes a title contender. Without him, and the ceiling on UK’s potential success takes an undeniable hit, as frontcourt depth becomes a legitimate issue.

For that reason, when breaking down the top remaining offseason decisions in college basketball, ESPN ranked Sarr’s waiver status near the top of the list.

Coming in at No. 4 overall, Sarr was the top waiver case on the list:

“Whether Olivier Sarr can play for the Wildcats next season is going to be the biggest waiver storyline of the offseason,” said ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. “He left Wake Forest following the coaching change in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and ultimately committed to Kentucky. Sarr, a 7-foot center, earned third-team All-ACC honors last season and was arguably the best transfer all spring. He would immediately start at center for the Wildcats, and John Calipari doesn’t have any comparable alternatives if Sarr isn’t eligible to play right away. Sarr also has said he wouldn’t stick around in Lexington if his waiver was denied and he was forced to sit out before playing. Sarr being eligible would push Kentucky into the top five nationally, but his waiver being denied would leave Kentucky in the top 15 to 20 due to questions down low.”

Sarr falls behind Gonzaga’s trio of Filip Petrusev, Corey Kispert, and Joel Ayayi at No. 1, Iowa’s Luka Garza at No. 2, and Baylor’s Jared Butler and MaCio Teague at No. 3, all of whom are testing the NBA Draft waters.

Back in May, national basketball analyst Jeff Goodman told KSR that Sarr’s waiver decision is a game changer not only for Kentucky, but the entire college basketball world.

“Once he becomes eligible, he fills a huge, huge, huge hole for Kentucky,” Goodman said. “He means more to any team in the top 50 than anybody else, and it’s not even close.”

With Sarr, Goodman sees Kentucky as a sure-fire Final Four team.

He just has to get eligible first.

“Nobody knows what the NCAA will do with this waiver, but I think it’s a season determining waiver for Kentucky,” Goodman told KSR. “With him, yeah, I think they’re a Final Four team. This is a kid who put up 14 and 9 in the ACC, albeit for a sh**ty team, he still put up good numbers and is a veteran. … I could see him coming in and filling a void like Reid Travis did.”

Looking at some of the other waiver decisions we’ve seen thus far, we could be right on the cusp of an announcement here in the near future.

Will the NCAA rule in Sarr’s favor?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

23 Comments for ESPN says Olivier Sarr’s waiver is one of the biggest remaining offseason decisions in CBB



  1. SuperTroy18
    12:07 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    At first, I figured this was a no-doubter, in that he would be eligible really soon, and there was no reason to think he wouldn’t be. As time goes on though, and my NCAA paranoia sets in as a huge UK fan that has been burned by them so many times, I wonder…
    I mean, there’s absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be eligible if Juzang is eligible. That would be such injustice. Injustice is par for the NCAA course though.



    • Bluehender
      12:37 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

      Agree SuperTroy..



    • BobbyBlue
      12:55 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

      Emmert gets wood just thinking of putting it
      to Cal and UK again. I think he will drag it on and on until there is not a player left that could reclassify or transfer in that could help the Cats. Emmert is in a dictatorship position and he has had it in for UK ever since the Terrance Jones, fiasco involving UW when he was the president there.
      Full Monty Enes Kanter ruling will come in late August.



  2. KYJelly
    12:19 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    I’m beginning to worry that the reason his waiver is taking so long is because the NCAA is wanting to put as much time between the players they granted waivers to and the the denial for Sarr’s waiver.



  3. bankerbh
    12:24 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    Wonder if NCAA will hold against him his comment about leaving Lexington if the waiver isn’t granted. Hope they don’t.



    • Bluehender
      12:35 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

      Who knows but common sense would be why would he hang around Lexington if he’s ineligible?



    • Megan
      12:17 am July 3, 2020 Permalink

      “Player who wanted to go to college turned away by the NCAA’s strict adherence to a rule that is soon to be discarded.” Not a favorable storyline for the NCAA. I think Sarr’s statement on what he will do if a waiver is denied only helps his case. He wants to go to college, and I think the NCAA wants him to go to college too. That would be a win-win.



  4. BigBluSoTru
    12:39 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    James Streeble of Sea of Blue is reporting that a decision is forthcoming this evening or sometime tomorrow Wow Matt and his crew are slipping if this bit of news drops ..



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:58 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

      SoTruBigRed!!!



  5. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    12:57 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    Next ESPN will remind us that water is wet and the sky is blue. Duh!



  6. BobbyBlue
    1:00 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    That being said it isn’t going to matter either way because there is just no way to have a basketball season this year.



    • jim tom
      1:54 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

      I’m afraid you are right. There is no way there is going to be a season.



  7. lexslamman
    1:27 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    No way they play a single game.



  8. BMT
    1:33 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    I would love to be wrong about this but I just can’t believe the NCAA will approve his waiver. They *should* but I just can’t fathom them doing it.



  9. Catcasey1
    2:11 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    Who would watch ESPN anyway if the cats ain’t playing on it. That channel is crap



  10. UKfanman01
    4:28 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    Oliver won’t be eligible. He came to UK. Cal has had 0 wins when it comes to NCAA appeals at UK. Wall was benched for his HS coach paying for a plane ticket, Kanter was snubbed (K State was same exact scenario 2 years later and the kid got to play), and this will be one and the same. Funny thing is Kanter was recruited and committed to Washington (Emmert’s school) before the Cats



    • CrystalBall
      5:43 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

      And Emmert claimed he had never heard of Kanter until he ruled him ineligible. One of the most high profile recruits in UW history,
      Emmert was President, but never heard of him. Hard to believe.



  11. CJKAssassin123
    7:55 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    Trust me we are playing basketball this season we will have a vaccine by January or a little after that, I thought you probably already have one it’s just the government is holding the vaccine back until after the November election, to keep the voter turnout low. The first half the season will probably be without fans and then after the vaccine the last part of the season will have fans. now as for football I don’t think there will be a football season to be honest. Nor do I think the NFL will have a season this year.



    • Megan
      12:37 am July 3, 2020 Permalink

      Trust me? Why? What have you done to deserve any trust? Man, you are a piece of work. Get over yourself.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:45 am July 3, 2020 Permalink

      And how do you know we will have a vaccine? Tell me how many viruses we’ve cured with vaccines? The flu shot doesn’t even work half the time. You know, like the year they said “Oops! That shot we just put into you? Yeah, it turns out that only works on LAST year’s strain. Sorry!”



  12. CJKAssassin123
    7:56 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    I mean to say ** I think instead of I thought**



  13. Dr. Tom
    8:03 pm July 2, 2020 Permalink

    Drew needs to make a road trip to Indy and find out what the heck is taking them so long!!