Seven Demon Deacons enter transfer portal

Wake Forest’s team will look different next year due to an influx of new talent

Sophomore forward Ismael Massoud has played his final game as a Deac.

Sophomore forward Ismael Massoud has played his final game as a Deac.

Christian Odjakjian, Sports Editor

College basketball fans are rejoicing over the return of March Madness, which has been absurdly entertaining so far. Though the men’s team didn’t make the tournament, it’s still been a very eventful week because of player movement within the program.

This year, the NCAA instituted a rule that granted waivers of immediate eligibility for all players, which has led to an influx of players entering the transfer portal. Seven players from this year’s roster have already entered, while Head Coach Steve Forbes has already secured one incoming recruit — forward Jake Laravia from Indiana State.

Upon their entrance, freshman guard Quadry Adams, sophomore guard Jahcobi Neath, sophomore forward Ismael Massoud, junior forward Isaiah Wilkins, freshman center Emannuel Okpomo, graduate student forward Jalen Johnson and junior forward Blake Buchanan have played their last minutes donning the gold and black.

Adams didn’t play much this season — only seeing action in nine games — but he contributed some great minutes down the stretch. The defensive-minded guard probably didn’t envision much of a path to extreme playing time behind Carter Whitt and Davien Williamson, so he will be taking his talents elsewhere.

Neath was very impressive at the end of last season, but fell down the pecking order during his sophomore year. His minutes decreased throughout the season, and he didn’t even play in the home finale against Georgia Tech, or the contest against Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. The athletic guard from Canada did not live up to expectations.

Neath and Adams were both recruited by Danny Manning, along with the sharpshooting Ismael Massoud. The 6’ 8” deadeye provided one of the most memorable moments of the season, making eight of ten three-point attempts and exploding for 31 points in the home win over Pittsburgh. However, his shooting really cooled off at the end of the season, and he failed to make improvements in other areas of his game.

Wilkins, a Winston-Salem native, transferred from Virginia Tech in the summer. Wilkins brought to the table lots of energy and hustle, but fell out of the rotation later in the season, and will look to find a place where he can play a more active role.

Okpomo, a raw big man, was viewed as a project by Forbes and his staff. However, once Tariq Ingraham was declared out for the season, Okpomo was thrust into an important role as Ody Oguama’s backup. Okpomo fell out of favor late in the season and stopped seeing minutes when Forbes opted to play a small ball lineup instead of using the young big.

Buchanan, a prefered walk-on, maintained a reserve role during his three years at Wake Forest. A well-liked and respected member of the team, Buchanan is looking to transfer to a mid-major school where he can find meaningful playing time.

To replace all of these roster spots, Forbes and his staff will have their  recruiting work cut out for them in recruiting. The staff is definitely off to a good start with the addition of Laravia.

The 6’ 9” sophomore from Indianapolis is leaving his home state to come play in the ACC. Laravia averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in a solid mid-major conference: the Missouri Valley. He is a solid defender who can finish around the rim and stretch the floor with his shooting.