Wake basketball adds two graduate transfers

The additions will help restock a roster decimated by five undergraduate departures since the end of last season

Wake Forest basketball coach Danny Manning reacts during a game last season (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

  Wake Forest basketball coach Danny Manning has made a move to fill some of the holes created by the departure of five underclassmen since the end of last season.

  On Wednesday, Manning announced the addition of graduate transfer Ikenna Smart, a 6-foot-10 forward from Buffalo who will help offset the loss of Doral Moore to the NBA draft. Manning then offset the transfer of Keyshawn Woods to Ohio State on Thursday by officially adding a second grad transfer, guard Torry Johnson from Northern Arizona.

  Smart started 25 games last season, averaging 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 67.7 percent from the floor in helping Buffalo win the Mid-American Conference championship. He added four points in the Bulls’ first-round NCAA tournament upset of Arizona.

  A native of Nigeria, Smart will graduate from Buffalo this spring with a degree in Geography and International Trade. He has ties to North Carolina, having played high school ball at New Garden Friends School in Greensboro — where he set school records for rebounds and blocks in a season during his senior year in 2013-14.  

“Ikenna is a young man with a lot of character and experience that will benefit our program,” Manning said in a statement. “During his time at Buffalo, he has been a part of the most successful period of that program’s history. His positive attitude and work ethic are contagious and are attributes you always desire from fifth-year players.”

  Johnson led Northern Arizona in scoring at 11.5 points per game while handing out 50 assists and recording 33 steals. He scored 20 or more points five times, including a career-high 33 points at North Dakota in a performance that saw him go 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc.

He shot better than 40 percent on 3-pointers in Big Sky Conference play.

   “I am excited to become a Demon Deacon,” said Johnson, who missed the 2016-17 season with an injury. “The coaching staff is so genuine and I felt a strong connection with them when I met them. To have the opportunity to play for a Hall of Famer like Danny Manning and the staff he has here, I am confident that they will be able to help me improve and reach my potential as a player.”
   Johnson will join a program that has been decimated by unexpected turnover after both Moore and guard Bryant Crawford declared for the draft and the trio of Woods, Donovan Mitchell and Rich Washington announce their intention to transfer.

  Crawford has not yet hired an agent and could still return for his senior season in 2018-19.