Wake Forest C Olivier Sarr to Enter Transfer Portal After Steve Forbes Hiring

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

Wake Forest center Olivier Sarr (30) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Florida State wins 78-68. (AP Photo/Lynn Hey)
Lynn Hey/Associated Press

Wake Forest center Olivier Sarr is entering the transfer portal following the school's hiring of Steve Forbes as its head basketball coach this week.

Per ESPN's Jeff Borzello, Sarr explained he initially planned to return for his senior season after speaking with former head coach Danny Manning:

"What happened was I wanted to test the [NBA draft] waters. I requested the UAC [Undergraduate Advisory Committee]. I tried to test the waters; then I had a conversation with Coach, and he convinced me to stay and get my degree. He had plans for me. I was going to do great things in the ACC, with the team and individually of course. It was late April; Coach was going to stay. Then 24-48 hours before the [draft] deadline, Coach got fired. I didn't get the chance to put my name in and change my mind."

Wake Forest Director of Athletics John Currie announced April 25 that Danny Manning had been fired after six seasons with the program.

Currie said the decision came after a "comprehensive review of the men's basketball program." The Demon Deacons went 78-111 with one NCAA tournament appearance under Manning.

Borzello noted that Sarr will be the top transfer target this spring, though the French center didn't rule out returning to Wake Forest.

"I want to give Wake Forest a chance and listen to what [Forbes] has to say," Sarr said. "I'm entering the transfer portal because I want to listen to all the options. I want to be able to pick my own coach, not have one chosen for me."

Despite not being able to graduate before transferring, Sarr did say "there's no way I sit out" for a year.

The NCAA Board of Directors has recommended delaying a proposal to adopt a one-time transfer waiver in time for the 2020-21 academic year, but Sarr could potentially receive a transfer waiver exception to play next season if he goes to another school.

Sarr (7'0", 255 lbs) averaged 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 30 games (26.7 MPG) as a junior.