Leadership role at UK should be something Olivier Sarr can do

Olivier Sarr (Wake Forest Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

How will Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr adapt to a leadership role at Kentucky — if the NCAA grants him a waiver to play next season?

I have a friend, Dave Goren, who is executive director of the National Sports Media Association, a sideline analyst for Wake Forest football and a professor at Wake Forest.

He had Sarr in a sportscasting class at Wake Forest last year and even though he described him as “quiet” he doesn’t think he will be overwhelmed at UK if he’s ruled eligible.

“He has gotten more mature,” Goren said. “Coming over (from France), the language barrier takes time to overcome. He maybe had a confidence issue on the court, too.

“(Former Wake Forest) Coach Danny Manning made the point also he was a 6-6 wing forward until he came to Wake Forest and is still growing into his body now that he’s a 7-footer. I think all those factors contributed him maybe being a little quiet.”

Sarr will be a senior for coach John Calipari if he’s ruled eligible and will be on a team dominated by true freshmen. Kentucky’s last two graduate transfers, Reid Travis and Nate Sestina, have been terrific leaders and players.

“I think now he sees it is fun to be a leader,” Goren said. “I expect him to do that at Kentucky with no problem. He’s more confident, a better player. But he’s also ready to take on that leadership role and I think he will be fine.”

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