Wake Forest basketball coach Danny Manning addressed the probability of losing star big man John Collins to the NBA draft by signing 6-foot-11 French center Olivier Sarr to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday. Sarr is a four-star recruit who is considered one of the top international players entering college in 2017-18. He currently attends INSEP, France’s National Institute of Sport, and plays club ball for CFBB. At the 201 FIBA U17 World Championships last summer, Spain, Sarr averaged 4.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game for a French team that finished sixth in the tournament. He also has international experience in the U15 Friendship Tournament and Adidas Next Generation events in Europe over the past three years.Sarr chose Wake over California, Vanderbilt, Central Florida and Arizona State. “Olivier brings a level of athleticism and shot-blocking that will open some eyes,” Manning said in a statement. “He has a good offensive skill set, but he is still young and will need to develop and get stronger, like any freshman. We are really excited about his potential and what he will bring to our program. Olivier is a great kid who comes from a great family and is a great fit for us across the board.” Sarr is the third member of Manning’s 2017 recruiting, joining already signed guard Chaundee Brown of Orlando, Fla,, and wing Melo Eggleston of Upper Marlboro, Md. His role will depend on whether Collins decides to stay in the draft or return for his junior season. Collins burst into prominence this season by averaging 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds while earning first-team All-ACC honors. The 6-10 center has submitted his name into the draft but has not yet hired an agent. Underclassmen have until May 25 to withdraw from the draft. Should Collins decide to leave, Sarr would join an inexperienced frontcourt rotation that also includes junior Doral Moore and sophomore Sam Japhet-Mathias.
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