Obi Toppin's Brother Jacob, Olivier Sarr Ruled Eligible for Kentucky

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2020

Rhode Island's Jacob Toppin reacts as he runs the court during an NCAA college basketball game against Dayton, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton won 81-67. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

The Kentucky Wildcats confirmed Wednesday that both Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin and Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr would be eligible for the 2020-21 men's basketball season, per Kent Spencer of WHAS and Ben Roberts of Kentucky.com. 

Both Toppin, the brother of NBA prospect Obi Toppin, and Sarr posted videos on Twitter following the news:

Head coach John Calipari also commented on the news:

Toppin, a 6'9", 187-pound forward, averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 30 games (three starts) last season for the Rams. 

"This is a big day for me and I want to thank the NCAA and my Kentucky family for their help in this process," the sophomore said, per Roberts. "I can't wait to get on the court with this group of guys and play in front of our fans."

Sarr, a 7-foot, 243-pound senior, averaged 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks for the Demon Deacons last season. He'll be expected to step in as Kentucky's starting center immediately. 

Toppin may find playing time a bit harder to come by, given Kentucky has the top incoming freshman class in the country, per 247Sports. That includes two 5-star prospects (shooting guards BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke) and four 4-star prospects (big men Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware, point guard Devin Askew and wing Cam'Ron Fletcher). 

Sarr's immediate eligibility will allow Jackson and Ware to spend more time at the 4. But with Keion Brooks Jr. and Dontaie Allen returning on the wing, Toppin might not expect to play more than the 18.5 minutes he averaged last season with URI. 

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His brother, Obi Toppin, won the John Wooden and Naismith Player of the Year Awards last year as a sophomore after averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and one steal per game for Dayton, shooting an incredible 63.3 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from three. 

Jacob Toppin probably won't post numbers anywhere close to that in his second season—Obi had already averaged 14.4 points per game as a freshman—but he's another young player for the Wildcats to develop.