Once you’re done marveling at that picture of Oscar Tshiebwe getting ready to dunk a basketball, let me have your attention. With transfer portal season fast approaching, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello ranked the top transfers in college basketball and Tshiebwe, formerly of West Virginia, is right at the top.
1. Oscar Tshiebwe, 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, PF, sophomore, West Virginia
Committed to Kentucky
Tshiebwe was one of the best big men in the country as a freshman (11.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG), but struggled through 10 games this season before leaving. He ultimately chose Kentucky over Miami, Illinois and NC State.
Of course, Tshiebwe won’t be able to play this season, but he can help the Cats in practice. As a freshman, he led the Mountaineers in scoring (11.2 points per game), rebounding (9.3 boards per game) and blocks (1.0) in 23.3 minutes per game en route to All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors. Tshiebwe arrived in Lexington this week but did not travel with the team to Missouri so he could take care of some onboarding tasks. Calipari told reporters yesterday he’s looking forward to getting Tshiebwe on the court once the Cats return.
“Here’s the thing, Oscar, the thing I loved about him was how hard he worked, how hard he played, how he would make everything an extra effort stuff, and I want him to go against our guys and try and bring some of that out of the guys that we have. Even though we have been playing hard, let’s take it to another level. One rebound, two rebounds, you ready for this? Two less turnovers per game, two more rebounds, a made shot. Where is this all? And so, I want him to add to it and help us and he’s ready to do that.”
“I just met him yesterday,” Lance Ware said of Tshiebwe yesterday. “He seems like a really, really good guy. We didn’t really speak much. I just saw him before I left the lodge. I said, ‘What’s up?’ But, from what Cal says he plays really hard. Obviously, I play hard so it’s going to be great competition in practice. I know he’s going to help me get better. I know those type of people, they help me get better. He’s going to help Olivier (Sarr) get better, Isaiah. So, he’s going to be a great addition for these few weeks or months that he’s here to help everybody get better for next year.”
By now I’m sure you’ve seen it, but this video of Cal and Big O in his office is pretty exciting stuff.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 2, 2021
Check out the rest of the transfer rankings at the link below. Kamani Johnson, Dakari’s little brother who left Little Rock for Arkansas, is No. 20.