The Kentucky Wildcats scored a major frontcourt addition Wednesday in Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr. If ruled eligible to play next season, Sarr immediately becomes the favorite to be UK’s starting center next season, and he’d likely log north of 25+ minutes per game.
That’s obviously bad news for whoever Sarr’s backup is next season. UK was hoping to land four-star center Frank Anselem and have him develop behind Sarr. But apparently, Anselem now has other plans.
According to Rivals’ Travis Graff and Davis Sisk, Kentucky is out of the running for Anselem after landing Sarr. Anselem was originally choosing between Kentucky, Arkansas, San Diego State, Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Western Kentucky.
The 6-10 Anselem is the No. 137 overall player in the 2020 class, according to 247 Sports. His four-star rating is not quite what Big Blue Nation is used to, but Anselem could be a good bench player and may develop into a great player in 2-3 years.
Alas, Anselem still wants to go somewhere where he can play now, even if it is in a limited role, and he probably won’t get that at UK. Though Sarr is UK’s only true center, we’d probably see Isaiah Jackson and possibly even Lance Ware log minutes at the 5 before Anselem does.
So, with Anselem off the board, will UK land another player?
The buzz is building that Evansville transfer DeAndre Williams could be that guy. The talented forward is easily one of the best remaining frontcourt transfers available, and UK is among his four finalists, which include Memphis, Baylor and Arkansas.
When UK landed Sarr, some wondered if Williams was even still an option for UK.
Worry no more, per KSR’s Matt Jones.
KSR has learned that Kentucky is still actively recruiting Evansville’s Deandre Williams and hopes to bring him in along with Olivier Sarr— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 8, 2020
There are hopes that a commitment could come relatively soon
In addition, Rivals reporter Isaac Simpson is predicting Williams to pick UK.
The 6-9 Williams averaged 15.2 points and 7 rebounds per game this past season. Against Kentucky, Williams only had 9 points and four rebounds. He also had games of 37, 28, and 26 points last season.
If Williams had played enough games to qualify, his 31.9 Player Efficiency Rating would have ranked 8th nationally, right behind national Player of the Year Obi Toppin. That tells you just how special Williams was when healthy, but a back injury cost him most of the second half of last season.
And with his coach, Walter McCarty, being let go, Williams is looking for a new school, and UK is a serious threat to land him.
Saying this, Williams is still a tradition transfer, so he’ll have to get a waiver in order to play next season. Because his coach was fired amid an ugly situation, Williams may be able to get a hardship waiver to play at his next school.
For now, Williams is planning to make his decision on Sunday or Monday.
The thought of a roster that includes Terrence Clark, Brandon Boston, Olivier Sarr, DeAndre Williams and Keion Brooks Jr. would strike fear into the college basketball world.
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