The Wake Forest men’s basketball program announced Wednesday (May 2) the addition of graduate transfer Ikenna Smart. A 6-10 forward, Smart transfers to Wake Forest from Buffalo, where he started 25 games last season for the Mid-American Conference Champions.
Thompson, a native of Nigeria, will graduate this spring from Buffalo with a degree in Geography and International Trade.
“Ikenna comes highly recommended by coach Nate Oats,” said head coach Danny Manning. “He is a young man with a lot of character and experience that will benefit our program. During his time at Buffalo, he has been a part of the most successful period of that program’s history. His positive attitude and work ethic are contagious and are attributes you always desire from fifth-year players.”
Wealth of experience
Smart is the only player in the history of the Buffalo program to be a member of all three of the school’s NCAA Tournament teams, redshirting in 2014-15 and playing on the 2015-16 and 2017-18 MAC Championship teams. He started 71 of his 93 career games as a Bull, helping the team to three 20-win seasons.
Smart appeared in 27 games for the Bulls in 2017-18, making 25 starts during his redshirt junior season. He averaged 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, shooting 67.7 percent from the floor. He scored four points against both Arizona and Kentucky as Buffalo reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds at Ohio in January.
In 2016-17, Smart averaged 3.4 points and 3.6 rebounds as he started 16 of 31 games. In his first season on the court, in 2015-16, Smart started 31 of 35 games and averaged 3.2 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Smart played high school basketball at New Garden Friends School in Greensboro, setting the school record for rebounds and blocks in a season during his senior year in 2013-14.