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Kentucky reportedly reaches out to WVU transfer Oscar Tshiebwe

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kentucky has emerged as a potential option for West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe.

According to Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader, UK was among the first schools to reach out to the 6-foot-9, 260-pound center originally out of Congo after he entered the transfer portal on Tuesday.

“The Herald-Leader has learned that UK was among the first schools to reach out to Tshiebwe, a former Wildcats recruiting target who took an official visit to Lexington during his initial recruiting process,” Roberts reported.

Tshiebwe, a former five-star prospect out of high school, averaged 8.5 and 7.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore before putting his name in the transfer portal. In his first year with the program, Tshiebwe led West Virginia in scoring (11.2) and rebounding (9.3) en route to All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Freshman Team honors. It was a freshman performance that led CBS Sports to listing the WVU big man as the No. 15 player in college basketball ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Prior to his time in Morgantown, Tshiebwe was ranked as a five-star prospect by, who listed the standout center as the No. 26 prospect in the class of 2019. He was also named a McDonald’s All-American, a game in which he finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes.

Prior to the McDonald’s All-American Game, Tshiebwe told KSR that he loved UK head coach John Calipari and what the Kentucky basketball program had to offer.

“It was a hard decision because I like Kentucky and I love Coach Calipari,” Tshiebwe said. “But I ended up at West Virginia because it’s a school I used to think about (growing up). I like the way they play, I like the coach, I like the program. That’s why I ended up going there.”

And had he not signed with the Mountaineers, he was headed to Lexington.

“Coach Calipari was telling me, “I want to coach you! Come play for me! I’m going to coach you and help you become a great player. I’ll help you reach your dreams. … Kentucky was second.”

According to college basketball insider Andrew Slater, Tshiebwe is expected to cut his list down to six or seven schools in the near future and begin conducting Zoom meetings with the remaining finalists.

After coming to a final decision, the former five-star prospect is planning to enroll in the spring semester before becoming immediately eligible for the 2021-22 season.

Practicing with the team to close out the remainder of the season before joining the lineup next year? Sign me up.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

16 Comments for Kentucky reportedly reaches out to WVU transfer Oscar Tshiebwe

  1. UKFanSC
    1:23 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    The kid is a beast. We could absolutely use him next season. Double double machine. I hope we can get him to Lexington.

  2. jack8291
    1:29 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    A bit worrisome that Huggins slammed the door on a return so fast . Wonder what happened ? Huggins said ‘ no way ‘ when asked if he’d have the door open for a return .

    • ClutchCargo
      2:38 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

      I’d say walking away mid-season has a lot to do with that. Also, I thought I read that Huggins was asked if there was a chance he would return, not whether he would be welcome back?

  3. WILDCATS1968
    1:29 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    It would be nice to have a big, wide body on the frontline. Dude is an enforcer who can flat out dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. he would be a walking double / double. Sign me up, I would love to have him manning the paint next year. A JR. 6-9, 270 pound MAN. When was the last time we had that can of size and bulk down low ? Bam was close, but a lot more athletic, Cousins ? Not saying he is / will be as good or as rounded as those two, but from a size and dominating style, he fits the mold.

    • Wildfelinebeeline
      1:55 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

      As close as Cal and Huggins are, I think Cal would know if the guy is or has a problem. My guess is that he doesn’t fit Huggins future game plans. I hope we get him. Saw him play a few times and he can be a beast around the rim.

    • just a guy
      3:57 pm January 7, 2021 Permalink

      Does he like playing back to basket, one dribble, spin??

  4. WILDCATS1968
    1:33 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    Randle as far size, but he could handle the ball, lead the break. Charles Oakley I feel is a very close comp for what Tshiebwe does on the court. Not to bad of a player to have, even in todays more modern up and down game. His rebounds and outlet passes would be a very useful tool. Offensive rebounds and put backs is always needed, can’t have too much of it.

  5. DaaaaCats
    2:01 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    Just looked at his stats this season. Averaged 20 minutes/game and suddenly hasn’t played at all the last two games. Wonder what the story is there?

    • ClutchCargo
      2:41 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

      Just reading between the lines here, but it seems he was strongly encouraged by his host family to go to WVU in the first place, even though he loved UK and Cal. Probably just a bad fit and needs a change of scenery.

    • DaaaaCats
      10:10 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

      I don’t really know much about WVU basketball other than they typically looks like a bunch of bruisers getting physical down low. Seems like 260 lb dude would fit Huggie Bear’s system well.

      But I’m just going off the like 3 games I’ve seen of them in five years lol

    • runningunnin.454
      8:27 am January 7, 2021 Permalink

      I watch WVU a lot; I like Huggins and his style of play; losing this guy will hurt his team this year. I would love to have him at UK.
      The WVU press I’ve read said personal reasons; I guess that’s like irreconcilable differences?

    • ClutchCargo
      9:49 am January 7, 2021 Permalink

      That’s what I’m thinking, rg. He apparently wanted to come to UK, and his heart was never into being at WVU, would be my WAG. Physically, he fits the bill for a Huggins team. He could be the bully in the paint we have been missing for awhile.

  6. zoupman
    4:21 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    Not interested.

  7. Cabranton
    5:56 pm January 6, 2021 Permalink

    Please bring this dude in. With a dude like this we wouldn’t hear the “they’re going to bang them all night” like we did against UNC this year. HE would actually be the one being physical..

  8. BobbyBlue
    10:33 am January 7, 2021 Permalink

    I was told that he had a lot of handler involvement the first time around, and was pushed to WVa

  9. BobbyBlue
    10:39 am January 7, 2021 Permalink

    After the Vandy game, MJ stated that a source close to the WVa program told him the Ky would not be an option. Could our fearless site owner be mistaken ?