Stewart averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore. He started 16 games and scored a career-best 18 points and had seven rebounds in a 90-69 loss against Virginia Commonwealth, which eliminated USC from the NCAA tournament to start its run to the Final Four.
Under NCAA transfer rules, Stewart must sit out the 2011-12 season. He will be eligible in 2012-13 and have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“He is going to have a great year of development during his redshirt year and is going to be a great contributor to our success once he becomes available," O’Neill said in a statement. "He has a tremendous upside as a player and I’m convinced he can raise us to another level.”
Stewart, from Marietta, Ga., averaged 7.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game as a freshman. He chose Wake Forest over offers from Oregon, Virginia and Xavier as a high school senior.
Photo: Ari Stewart, left, formerly of Wake Forest, takes a shot against Georgia Tech's Daniel Miller during an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C. March 3, 2011. Credit: Lauren Carroll/AP