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Olivier Sarr will transfer to Kentucky; Wake Forest must look for new answers

Things move quickly: After three seasons (85 games) at Wake Forest, All-ACC center Olivier Sarr will transfer to Kentucky.

During his breakout junior season, Sarr averaged 13.7 points (53.8 2P%), 9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. After two years of development, Sarr emerged as one of the top players in the ACC — a low-post big with serious pick-and-roll talents.

Late last week, Sarr, after Wake Forest’s hiring of Steve Forbes, announced his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Earlier this week, Sarr officially entered the portal. Now, he’s headed to Lexington.

Sarr’s decision to head west comes one day after Forbes, in a radio interview with WSJS, took a little shot at Kentucky, too.

For Wake Forest, this a significant loss. Sarr was a priority for the new staff, which met with him for two hours last weekend. Regardless of what Sarr chose to do, Forbes has a rebuild on the horizon in Winston-Salem; however, minus this 7-foot hub of offensive activity, next season becomes more of a challenge. Sarr would’ve provided instant offense and defensive rim protection.

According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, Sarr heard from several programs, including Duke and Florida State. But he thought Kentucky provided him the “best opportunity.” In terms of playing time, he’s spot on; the Wildcats return next to nothing. With Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery headed to the NBA Draft, Sarr will arrive in Lexington as the the team’s top frontcourt option — with an asterisk.

While his career at Wake Forest is over, Sarr isn’t guaranteed to remain in college. If he’s unable to gain immediate eligibility, then his UK career may be short lived. Sarr, who hails from France, has left the door open for a return to Europe, where he could play professional basketball.

Sarr will be one of many new arrivals. The nation’s No. 1 incoming recruiting class, which runs six deep, is set to land. So, too, are two other transfers: Davion Mintz (Creighton) and Jacob Toppin (Rhode Island), the brother of Dayton All-America Obi Toppin.

 

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