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Wake Forest center Olivier Sarr enters the transfer portal

Wake Forest Athletics

Wake Forest Athletics

A brand new frontcourt option has opened up for the Kentucky basketball program.

This morning, Wake Forest star center Olivier Sarr announced he would be entering the NCAA Transfer Portal after three years with the school.

After originally planning on returning to the school, Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning was fired and replaced by Steve Forbes of ETSU, leading Sarr to explore his options.

“It’s actually a tough decision,” Sarr said in an interview with ESPN. “I want to give Wake Forest a chance and listen to what he has to say. I’m entering the transfer portal because I want to listen to all the options. I want to be able to pick my own coach, not have one chosen for me.”

Now, Sarr, a 7-foot center originally from France, is set to become arguably the best transfer prospect in the nation. Last season at Wake Forest, Sarr earned earned third-team All-ACC honors last season after averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Demon Deacons. On the year, the 7-footer managed 11 double-doubles, including multiple breakout games that included a 30-point, 17-rebound performance against Notre Dame and a 25-point outing in a win over No. 7 Duke.

After missing out on Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms, who announced his commitment to BYU last week, Kentucky fans flooded Sarr’s social media pages in hopes of convincing the 7-foot star to put his name in the transfer portal and consider Lexington for his final year of eligibility.

And yes, Sarr noticed.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that; it was crazy,” he told ESPN. “It was funny and all that, but it got to a point where it was a little bit too much. Some Wake fans replied. I loved the loyalty from the Deacon fans. I love them, I appreciate what they did for me for three years. But Kentucky fans are really eager and thirsty for players.”

As crazy as it was, he understands the history of Kentucky basketball, calling it “one of the best programs in the country.”

“From what I know, it’s a historical program,” Sarr said in the interview. “It’s one of the best programs in the country.”

Here are just a few of the accolades from Sarr’s impressive junior season at Wake Forest:

• Third-Team All-ACC and runner-up for ACC Most Improved Player
• Appeared in 30 games, making 15 starts (missed one game due to injury)
• Averaged 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game
• Led the team with 11 double-doubles and 33 blocks
• Scored in double figures in 23 games
• Two-time ACC Player of the Week (Dec. 2, Mar. 2), 12th different Deacon to win it twice in a season
• Set career highs of 30 points (12-16 FG, 6-7 FT) and 17 rebounds vs. Notre Dame (Feb. 29) to become the 3rd Deacon in the past 50 years to have a 30-and-15 game against an ACC opponent (John Collins, Rodney Rogers)
• Scored 25 points (7-9 FG, 11-14 FT) vs. No. 7 Duke (Feb. 25)
• Had 20 points and 13 rebounds (8 offensive – tying school ACCT record) vs. Pitt in ACC Tournament (Mar. 10)
• Wooden Legacy All-Tournament Team after averaging 17.0 points and 11.7 rebounds over three games
• Scored 21 points (9-9 FG) and had eight rebounds vs. UNC Asheville (Nov. 13)
• Became first Deac since 2013-14 with first half double-double (10p/10r) and finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds vs. Boston College (Jan. 19)

While he is not expected to be a graduate transfer and would need to apply for a waiver to receive immediate eligibility, the NCAA has proven to be lenient in cases where players leave school due to coaching changes.

Until then, check out his highlights below:

Come on down.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

22 Comments for Wake Forest center Olivier Sarr enters the transfer portal

  1. IrishCat
    9:33 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    There’s the guy we need.

  2. Wildfelinebeeline
    9:39 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Hey, if he commits to UK, you guys could have a KSBar Sarr day or maybe a KSR Sarr day! Let’s get him on the team!

  3. ukyelecteng
    9:44 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Is this how desperate we’ve become that we go all in on any big man that is trying to transfer ? Next season is going to be rough (if it happens)

    • Cokely53
      9:48 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Get over yourself

    • Jack Pilgrim
      9:58 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Going after an All-ACC center who had a 30/17 game against Notre Dame and put up 25 points in a win over a top-ten Duke team is desperate? Sheesh.

    • ukyelecteng
      10:55 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Until recently it wasn’t a problem for us to sign 5 star big men. For whatever reason it has become difficult, and yes, we have resorted to going after any available as soon as they declare they want to transfer. Also don’t judge a player off single game stats.

    • claiborne_field
      11:23 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Some people just can’t help but look at the world cynically, Pilgrim.

    • friendsofcoal
      6:50 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      AND don’t judge a guy based off of his stars!

  4. runningunnin.454
    9:53 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    A waiver would be granted/denied contingent upon his college choice…everyone knows that.

  5. runningunnin.454
    9:53 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    A waiver would be granted/denied contingent upon his college choice…everyone knows that.

  6. BMT
    9:53 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    “the NCAA has proven to be lenient in cases where players leave school due to coaching changes.”

    As paranoid as it will sound, I can’t see the NCAA doing this kid any favors (waiver-wise) if he was wanting to transfer to Kentucky. Duke, on the other hand…..

  7. FLCatFan4Ever
    10:12 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    This is a great opportunity, it would seem, for Sarr and for UK. I REALLY HOPE the coaching staff feels this is a good fit and goes all in. That said, there will be plenty of attention from other suitors. I very much agree the NCAA appears biased against UK, and would not like our chances of gaining a waiver IF both Sarr and UK ultimately decided it was a good fit. Besides, I am sure the NCAA is much too busy right now putting the finishing touches on punishment for Wade, Miller, and Self. Those penalties should be announced anytime now………….WRONG!

  8. LouisaCatFan
    10:23 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Would be a nice addition for KY, but with past bigs no need to get our hopes up!!

  9. 1stkatman
    10:26 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Sarr would be an upgrade compared to what we had last season, IMO. His versatility surpasses Nick Richards, and he plays bigger than Nick, or EJ. Add him into the young lineup coming in, (Lance Ware and Isaiah Jackson, the front court becomes iron clad.
    Olivier Sarr, is a difference maker. The only players potentially equal at this juncture would be 2021 transfers, Moussa Cisse or, Chet Holmgren.
    Even then, for one season, Sarr would be better, and we qare used to guys leaving after one season.
    Plus, Sarr with all due respect, is better than either Nate Sestina or Reid Travis as a transfer big.

  10. BlueBanker18
    10:36 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    I can’t help but notice we’ve had a major issue landing game-ready big men ever since Bam declared for the draft. You would think our record of getting centers developed and drafted would speak for itself, but we just keep missing the mark. It’s hard to be optimistic in this situation knowing that.

    • FLCatFan4Ever
      10:53 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

      I could not agree more, BlueBanker. If, if, if, there is mutual interest, UK better lock this down in a hurry. The longer it goes, the less chance we have IMO.

    • BCO
      12:02 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Its simple imo. Game changing bigs are worth a premium. Most schools cheat to get them. We don’t.

  11. JASUN74
    11:59 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Fellas is not Cal or Kentucky who is hurting us with bigs, it’s the Twitter fans who are destroying Kentucky Basketball. There’s no need to even say anything though because they don’t listen. Why would a grown up get on Twitter and talk to a recruit? It’s the stupidest thing I ever heard. Stop it now people!! If you all knew how dumb you look you’d never do that again. But no, you think you’re going to help get em in here. Lmao. So stupid! Did I say how stupid that is? You know who you are if you’re reading this!! Grow up and stay off kids Twitter! Get a life and leave those guys alone. It’s really shameful. Like awful!!

    • Bluehender
      1:52 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      I agree JAYSUN. Twitter is a cancer. People are stupid..

  12. UKFanSC
    12:26 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Like a flower needs the rain……

  13. Bruce Dickinson
    3:24 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Maybe it was good we missed on Ivan Drago.