It is no secret that Wake Forest has been heavily recruiting French big man 4-star Olivier Sarr for the past few months. The 6-11 Sarr is a very talented center, especially on the defensive side of things. While we have heard nothing solid at Blogger So Dear, there are a few tidbits here and there indicating that Sarr to Wake is a very likely outcome.
This article will focus less on whether or not he will come here, and more on what it means for Wake Forest basketball this year and beyond if he does commit.
Danny Manning and the coaching staff currently have just one scholarship open, so if Sarr committed before John Collins makes his NBA decision then every scholarship would be filled. Here is a look at an updated chart for the next four years if Sarr does come to Winston-Salem:
One notable exception this chart leaves out is Sunday Okeke, who is coming to Wake Forest as a preferred walk-on out of Connecticut. Okeke is a 6-8, 230 pound power forward, and at the least will be a great practice body at no scholarship cost.
It’s not a stretch to say that he could eventually contribute during his time at Wake Forest. He is underrated due to injuries, and Manning would not have offered him even a preferred walk-on spot if he didn’t think he would be an asset to the team in some capacity.
If the staff wants to take a graduate transfer once Sarr commits, then one of two things has to happen:
1. Somebody on the current roster would have to transfer out
2. John Collins would have to decide to stay in the NBA Draft.
There are a handful of grad transfers out there who could make an impact next year for Wake, but if the Deacs add Sarr it may slightly change the type of player Manning is looking for.
Ideally Wake lands Sarr and he is on the roster for at least 2-3 years. He is already popping up on a few radars as an NBA prospect thanks to his size, athleticism, and defensive prowess.
While Sarr may not contribute as much immediately as a grad transfer would on the offensive end, the Deacs desperately need a rim protector who can stay out of foul trouble and grab rebounds.
I don’t wish to speculate on the odds of anybody on the current Wake roster transferring outside of pointing out that attrition to collegiate basketball rosters is at an all-time high. There are a few guys I would consider more likely to transfer than others, but time will tell on that front.
The best case for Wake heading into next year would be to land Olivier Sarr and have John Collins stay. If that doesn’t happen then I am pretty sure Manning will act quickly to grab a grad transfer to fill in Collins’ spot. There are presumably already contingency plans out there for all options.
Next year’s roster will become a lot clearer once Sarr makes his decision, as Wake will either keep Collins, or add a grad transfer to fill that empty scholarship spot.