Why go to Wake Forest for three years, only to finish off your undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky? That's the abbreviated version of a recruiting pitch new Demon Deacons coach Steve Forbes is using to try and keep 7-foot center Olivier Sarr from transferring elsewhere as Kentucky looms as a threat to nab his services. Sarr entered the transfer portal this week, allowing him to officially explore other options, and the Wildcats are in the market for a big man who can make an immediate impact.
"He's our No. 1 recruit right now," said Forbes this week of Sarr in a radio appearance. "Why would you go to Wake for three years and put all that time in to get this prestigious degree, then get your degree at a place like Kentucky? That's what I'd say. That got a chuckle out of him."
Forbes followed it up by saying he meant no disrespect to Kentucky, but doubled down on his pitch that Wake's offering trumps anything else he could find.
"I told him, 'You're going to play for a new coach no matter what. No matter what. So do you really want to take the risk of playing with new teammates?'" added Forbes. "You're not going to have a summer, you're only going to have 6-8 weeks to prepare for the season, you've gotta work through chemistry. [If you] come back, you're going to play with teammates that love ya, care about ya, and are going to get you the ball."
Sarr's services are expected to be in high demand on the transfer market. He does not meet the academic requisites to be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer if he left Wake Forest, but Danny Manning's ouster last month could open up the possibility of him receiving a waiver from the NCAA.
As a junior last season, Sarr averaged 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for the Demon Deacons, playing 26.7 minutes per game.