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Wake Forest coach to Olivier Sarr: “Why would you go to Wake for three years … and end up getting your degree at a place like Kentucky?”

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Wake Forest star Olivier Sarr is in the NCAA transfer portal, new Demon Deacon head coach Steve Forbes is doing whatever it takes to keep the 7-foot center in Winston-Salem.

After bringing the entire Wake staff to meet with Sarr in person on Sunday, Forbes has been joining various podcasts and radio stations to talk about their recruiting efforts and roster retention, among numerous topics.

In his most recent appearance this afternoon, Forbes threw a jab at the University of Kentucky – a school expected to be in serious contention to land Sarr – when comparing to Wake Forest academically.

“I think the most important thing is, why would you go to Wake for three years, put all that time in for a prestigious degree, and end up getting your degree at a place like Kentucky?” Forbes said of his conversation with Sarr on The Drive with Josh Graham today. “That got a chuckle out of him. That’s no disrespect to Kentucky, I obviously respect them, but you know what I mean. I just think there’s a lot to be said for putting all that work in academically and not being able to finish what you started. I know those things are all important to him, and he’s said that.”

Another key recruiting pitch for Wake? Roster familiarity.

Referring to his conversation with Sarr, Forbes said that the highly-coveted transfer is going to be playing for a new coach no matter where he goes. What he won’t have elsewhere, though, are teammates that he’s comfortable with and cares about.

“The biggest thing I told him was, “You’re going to play for a new coach no matter what. Do you want the risk of playing with new teammates? Because you’re not going to have a summer, you’re only going to have six-to-eight weeks to prepare for the season and work through chemistry. Are you going to come back and play with teammates that love you, care about you, and can get you the ball?” It’s the last year of his career, and I think that’s a big thing,” Forbes said.

What does the new Wake Forest coach think of the school’s chances in bringing Sarr back to Winston-Salem? Roughly “50-50,” especially considering the 7-foot center has quite a bit of interest from high-major programs.

“I’d like to say that I’m 100%, but I’m not. I’d say 50-50 right now,” he said. “I haven’t talked with Olivier since we left, we’ve just texted a little bit back and forth. … I don’t have to tell Wake fans, he’s just a phenomenal person, kid, young man, player. I really enjoyed visiting with him, and we’re not done visiting him. It’s a full-court press on him, he’s our No. 1 recruit right now. We’re putting our best foot forward, it’s all we can do. Just trying to build a relationship with him like everyone else is doing.”

“We’ll keep trying, keep plugging, but he’s got a lot of really good teams recruiting him.”

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

43 Comments for Wake Forest coach to Olivier Sarr: “Why would you go to Wake for three years … and end up getting your degree at a place like Kentucky?”

  1. Irish son
    5:21 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    LOL, Dude is straight out cracking on us

  2. Rick_S
    5:23 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Hey Olivier, ask him which would be more fun, lose 20 games at WF or play at Kentucky and be a F4 favorite

    • desertCard
      9:12 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      LOL you clearly missed his point.

    • EazyDuzIt
      10:48 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      The point is UK is ranked 60 spots ahead of UL in academics and owns you in basketball and now football. 101-23. LOL. Enjoy your probation and 2 titles clown.

    • meeksfor3
      9:21 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      To quote DeMarcus Cousins “This ain’t no spelling bee” and that is the point.

    • EazyDuzIt
      12:39 pm May 6, 2020 Permalink

      We got him! Thanks Forbes. Hahaha

  3. Rick_S
    5:25 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    *** Coach Steve***

  4. J. Did
    5:29 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Come on Steve: It is not like Olivier Sarr is transferring to Southern Arkansas.

  5. dcforuk
    5:40 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Does he need to apply for a waiver to play immediately if he transferred to Kentucky?

    If so

    • dcforuk
      5:41 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      If so, Then go ahead and get your degree from wake forest young man and become a graduate transfer!

    • dcforuk
      5:42 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      It’s not like there’s anything else to do right now with Quarantine. Just take however many classes you need in May June July and August then you’re good…….

  6. DelrayCat
    5:42 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Like anybody cares what school you graduated from today. An online degree from U. of Phoenix is about the same as one from Duke…the only difference is the good ol’ boys club. Sure, there might be some fields or companies that it is essential, like getting a gig with Goldman Sachs…but for the most part employers only care that you checked the box and got that actual piece of paper.

    • desertCard
      9:13 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      LOL not even close. You must have gone to UofP.

    • Good Times
      9:25 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah, this isn’t true in the majority of professional fields – finance, law, engineering, medical, etc. Not even close… SMH. Kids, do not take this career advice.

    • ukyelecteng
      8:20 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      I agree Good Times, this has to be one of the more idiotic comments I’ve read in awhile

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      12:01 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Desertcard he went to duhville just like you and people treat it just like the trash from UofP.

    • 4everUKBlue
      7:53 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah like Sarr is going to have a career in finance, law, engineering or the medical field…

    • ukyelecteng
      8:19 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Couldn’t but further from the truth delray cat. That name on your resume is invaluable. People, don’t turn to this guy for career advice

  7. Wildfelinebeeline
    5:43 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Forbes’ comment sounds like it’s straight outta Coach K’s mouth. How do you like that taste Forbes?

  8. dcforuk
    5:50 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    A degree at a non-profit or public institution should prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Where does this guy ultimately want to be gainfully employed?

  9. UKLugo
    5:56 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    He better hope to the heaven’s above that we don’t meet in the NCAAs. Just ask Colgate.

    • dcforuk
      5:59 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      ??? – Colgate?

    • UKLugo
      6:08 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink


    • desertCard
      9:14 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      Or Robert Morris

    • ready4nineNOW
      10:18 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      And that wasn’t the ncaa tourney, desert. How many times can uk teams beat you down ’till you realize uofl is second to uk. That they are in fact little brother, and it is okay. I guess i shouldn’t be swinging down. I get it. Im sorry. Theres nothing wrong with swinging up hoping to catch one.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      12:04 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah desertcard hopefully the season will be canceled so UK doesn’t put another 1 in the win column against UofL. I mean these losses are still less embarrassing then playing you guys every year for an easy win.

  10. Bluehender
    6:25 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds like the new coach is trying to shame the boy. Shame on him…come to Kentucky and be a winner.

  11. runningunnin.454
    6:33 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    I guess he graduated from Princeton; oops, no…that’s the real Steve Forbes. They don’t even bother to rank Southern Arkansas nationally.
    He owes UK a public apology with as much sincerity as a man of his character can muster.

  12. postfeeder
    6:52 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Keep talking up that Wake degree while we talk up that lottery pick NBA contract!

    • VinDatuk
      7:36 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      It you want an MBA or Law degree, he’s right. If you want a Doctorate in basketball, UK is the right institution. Which of these applies to Sarr? Forbes might’ve proved our point for us. Either way, classless statement from a leader at an alleged institution of higher learning.

    • runningunnin.454
      8:03 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

      Might interest Mr. Forbes that UK is the No. 1 neurosurgery school in the country,

  13. Rixter
    7:34 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    “The sky is green. I’m not saying the sky is green, obviously it’s blue.. but you know what I mean”
    No, coach.. we don’t know what you mean. it sounds a lot like you’re saying the sky is green. I mean, it sounds like you’re disrespecting Kentucky.

  14. UKgrad80
    7:48 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    I’m sorry didn’t he come from E. Tenn. St.? Not hardly the Harvard of the South!

  15. Aar
    8:47 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    1) Typical
    2) Yes, I’d like to get my degree from an institution whose graduates have amassed over $2 Billion in NBA contracts after a single year in the program.

  16. KentuckyBoy
    8:56 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Best answer all night. Mostly because it’s true.

  17. CATS-R-Gr8
    8:58 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    MBA or NBA young man? Pick the school that can give you both.

    Cal let’s schedule them after we take him!

  18. satcheluk
    10:14 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    Because he knows there’s no better school to get your NBA.

  19. makeitstop
    11:42 pm May 5, 2020 Permalink

    First of all, if he’s got 90 credits at Wake and gets the last 30 at UK, I’m pretty sure he transfers 30 hours to Wake and not 90 hours to UK… thus he has a Wake degree. But he wants to earn a living playing basketball… and a year at UK enhances his chance of doing that. I guess Coach Forbes wasn’t an Econ major at Southern Arkansas. Btw -is that where Hunter Biden’s baby mama played? Or was that ArkieState? Either way, Forbes doesn’t have a Wake degree and he seems to be doing ok though not as well as Pat Riley. Where’d he go?

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      12:08 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Actually he’d have to transfer the first 90 to UK to be academically eligible to play, so yes it would be a UK degree. Of course it also would be a year at Kentucky come draft time so an NBA career go to Kentucky, for any non medical, agricultural, or even engineering job stay at Wake.

    • makeitstop
      8:21 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

      Benny, are u sure bc that’s not the way it works for “regular” students? Possible but I don’t know why the NCAA that does not get involved in academic matters (UNCheat) would get involved in degree requirements. The only degree requirements are 120 hours, no more that 30 from a school other than Wake and meeting Certain prerequisites, which by this year he surely has. So unless an athletic scholarship has different requirements then I think he transfers 30 from UK to Wake and gets a WF degree, making Forbes look like more of a schmuck. And not sure u could get a UK degree w 90 hours from somewhere else.

  20. makeitstop
    8:22 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

    Wake Forest University:
    “All students must earn a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average in Wake Forest College and the School of Business. Once enrolled at Wake Forest, a student may subsequently count, at most, 30 hours of credit from sources other than Wake Forest programs toward the graduation requirement of 120 hours.” Yo, Steve. It’s not ArkieSouthern.

  21. ukyelecteng
    8:31 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

    The truth hurts, stop taking it personally. The wf coach has a great point. If your 1 year away from graduating from a prestigious school, do not come to Kentucky. The connections with alumni alone after your basketball playing days alone are priceless.

  22. Buffalo Cat
    11:34 am May 6, 2020 Permalink

    This is a guy who graduated from someplace called Southern Arkansas University, and who has coached at a lot of pretty pedestrian places. He has been at the prestigious Wake Forest University for about 20 minutes for crying out loud.