Fans of the Big Blue Nation rejoiced this past week when news broke that top transfer Olivier Sarr would be leaving the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and joining the Kentucky Wildcats.
Sarr is an All-ACC caliber player being named to the third team this past season for the Deacons, but entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal last month after the school fired coach Danny Manning.
The 7 foot native of France is just what the doctor ordered for the Wildcats heading into the 2020-21 season as they welcomed in the nations top recruiting class, but lacked experience in the front court after the departures of Nick Richards, E.J. Montgomery, and Nate Sestina.
There’s only one problem, Sarr is yet to be named eligible.
Sarr has not yet graduated from Wake Forest and does not qualify as a grad transfer, which means he is not immediately eligible to play and Kentucky will have to send a waiver to the NCAA to grand him eligibility for the upcoming season.
The big man averaged over 13 points and nine rebounds per game this past season for the Demon Deacons and was considering entering the NBA, until Manning talked him into staying in school for one more season.
Manning was then fired by the school not long after which left Sarr in a tough predicament, and he eventually decided to transfer to Kentucky. Sarr has said that if he is not made immediately eligible by the NCAA then he will not set out a season, but will instead return overseas and begin his professional career.
If Sarr is made eligible he will undoubtedly be plugged into the starting lineup for the 2020-21 Wildcats as he will be leaned upon to provide veteran leadership and a strong inside presence for a team that lost over 90 percent of its scoring from the 2019-20 season.
Kentucky coach John Calipari isn’t stopping with Sarr as it is also rumored that Evansville transfer DeAndre Williams was also leaning towards changing to the Wildcats. He would also not immediately be eligible for the 2020-21 season and would have to sit out with Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin who switched to Kentucky earlier this Spring.
Despite the sports world being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky head coach John Calipari still found a way to make his Wildcats a better club and put them in the hunt for the school’s ninth National Championship next season.