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A former Steve Forbes' recruit rejoins him at Wake Forest

A former Steve Forbes' recruit rejoins him at Wake Forest

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Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes instructs his team during a timeout on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wake Forest men’s basketball secured its second transfer of the week and third of the offseason on Saturday.

Damari Monsanto, the Southern Conference freshman of the year at East Tennessee State, joined the Deacons.

The 6-foot-6 wing averaged 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds for ETSU. Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes recruited Monsanto ahead of his final year with the Buccaneers. Monsanto redshirted his true freshman season, which featured a 30-4 record and a SoCon championship for Forbes and company. The coach was hired at Wake Forest a month later.

Even better for Wake Forest? Monsanto has four years of eligibility remaining, meaning he’s both an important piece for next season but also a foundation piece for a program Forbes is still working to rebuild. The Deacons went 6-16 in 2020-21.

On Wednesday, seven-foot grad transfer Dallas Walton committed to the Deacons, a move announced officially on Friday. He comes from Colorado.

In March, Wake Forest picked up its first transfer of the offseason, getting Jake LaRavia from Indiana State. Another piece that will help now and later, he has three years of eligibility remaining.

Forbes is filling the spots vacated by those who either went pro or are pursuing options in the transfer portal. In total, two Deacons from last season opted to start their professional careers (Ian DuBose and Jonah Antonio) while seven others — Jahcobi Neath, Emmanuel Okpomo, Isaiah Wilkins, Quadry Adams, Jalen Johnson, Ismael Massoud and walk-on Blake Buchanan — are trying to join new programs.

Wilkins, a Winston-Salem native, is heading to Longwood.

Okpomo is now with Temple. Adams latched on with St. Bonaventure.

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@EthanJoyceWSJ

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