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Transfer Olivier Sarr became “dominant presence in the post” at end of last season


Les Johns covers Wake Forest basketball as publisher of the Demon Deacons for 247Sports. He also used to cover University of Kentucky basketball when he was a sportswriter in western Kentucky before moving to North Carolina.

Johns watched 7-footer Olivier Sarr play the last three seasons at Wake Forest and Wednesday Sarr announced he was transferring to Kentucky — and hoping to get a NCAA waiver so he can play next year.

“Sarr arrived at Wake as an undersized European-style face-up big,” Johns said. “He bulked up during the summer heading into his sophomore season and really was coached up by (Danny) Manning en route to becoming a dominant presence in the post late last season.

“He has a vast array of post up moves and is solid from 15-feet in. Good footwork and soft hands. He’ll fit in nicely in Lexington.”

That sure seems to be the case. He averaged almost a double-double in the ACC last season and earned third team all-ACC honors. He has not been foul prone and while not a great shot blocker, certainly is a solid rim protector.

He could also be someone UK players and fans both like.

“He’s a really good dude,” Johns said.

However, Johns does have one small worry about Sarr playing at Kentucky.

“Not sure how he’ll react to 30-40 of you (media members) all in a scrum (trying to interview him), but we’ll see,” Johns said.

Not every player embraces the media attention but there is one positive for Sarr — it’s not like he’ll be interviewed daily. After games, UK usually makes three players of its choice available for interviews. During pregame media opportunities, two or three players are made available. So odds are Sarr will not be interviewed more than once ever 10 days or maybe once ever two weeks.

Or maybe he’ll just love the Kentucky media more than he did the Wake Forest media and become a media darling and fan favorite.

1 comment

  1. Sadly, he may never wear a KY uniform in a game. The Hauser brothers left Marquette last year with one going to Michigan St., the other to Virginia. They did not get a waiver to play this year, you know the NCAA won’t do any favors for us. Sarr has said he won’t sit out a year; he will go overseas and play instead. If that’s the case, maybe he will go back to Wake in the summers to finish his prestigious degree and not have to do that at a place like Kentucky, as Coach Forbes put it.

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