After being linked to seemingly every notable big in the transfer portal, Coach Cal has finally landed his man.
Former Demon Deacon Olivier Sarr announced on Twitter this afternoon that he would be joining the Cats. ESPN's Jeff Borzello first reported Sarr had chosen Big Blue.
"I just didn't feel like I could be at my best by returning to Wake Forest," Sarr said in his post. "BBN, I can't wait to get started.
The decision comes after new Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes, formerly of East Tennessee State, appeared to bash Kentucky's academics in a radio appearance earlier this week in a pitch to retain the seven footer from Toulouse, France.
"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?" he said.
Forbes later said he meant no disrespect to Kentucky, but that didn't stop the oncoming wrath of Big Blue Nation. Coach Calipari's daughter Erin and football coach Vince Marrow both chimed in on the matter:
As a Wake Forest graduate I still think it’s completely unacceptable and incredibly elitist to act like the Univeristy if Kentucky isn’t a top academic institution. UK is a world leader in many fields, including my own (substance use disorder research).— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) May 6, 2020
Rankings and numbers don’t educate students. Faculty in each department do.When I was in undergrad the environment at UMass was perfect for me to learn and grow (which I needed). I am 100% certain that was a better for me than the environment at an Ivy https://t.co/rPPlkqOBg4— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) May 6, 2020
My daughter will graduate from one of the best academic intuition in America @universityofky next week and for someone to take a shot at this great university. I take offense to that comment. Go Big Blue.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) May 6, 2020
Sarr averaged 13.7 points and nine rebounds per game for the Demon Deacons last season in more than 26 minutes per contest. His massive improvement from his sophomore season helped earn him Third-Team All-ACC honors:
Sarr is not a graduate transfer, so he is not immediately eligible despite being a senior. But because Wake Forest fired their coach from last season (Danny Manning), it's expected that he will be able to get a waiver to play this year.
He fills a major need below the rim for the Cats, who just lost Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery to the NBA. The combination of him and Keion Brooks Jr. could have Calipari and staff salivating in anticipation for 2020-2021.