Morgantown, West Virginia – Oscar Tshiebwe is headed to the SEC. Since leaving Morgantown, Tshiebwe has been linked to the University of Miami. However, he held Zoom meetings the past two days with coaches from Miami, Kentucky, Illinois and NC State, and John Calipari is very persuasive.
Moments ago, Tshiebwe decided to play for the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky, who is currently 4-6 overall, will likely lose several front court players next season when Tshiebwe will be eligible to play again.
I am grateful for the time I spent at West Virginia, and the lessons that I learned. I’ve spent a lot of time praying to God to help me make the best decision for my future. I am excited for this new chapter of my life. I will continue my career at the University of Kentucky #BBN pic.twitter.com/rm08UwtDBI
— Big O (@Oscartshiebwe34) January 11, 2021
Kentucky is a Nike-sponsored program. It was rumored that Tshiebwe would choose an Adidas-sponsored school because Tshiebwe’s handlers – the same people that convinced him to leave WVU – might be able to financially benefit at a school like Miami, Louisville, NC State or Indiana, all sponsored by Adidas. However, Kentucky is known for putting their players in the NBA and that is exactly where Oscar Tshiebwe ultimately wants to go.
Head Coach Bob Huggins said the following on the departure of Tshiebwe from the West Virginia program: “Oscar has our full support, and we certainly wish him the best during this time.”
It’s unclear, however, how this will affect Huggins’ friendship with John Calipari. Huggins and Calipari are close, personal friends, and it’s assumed that Calipari reached out to Huggins for “permission” to speak with Tshiebwe. If he did not speak with Huggins prior to contacting Tshiebwe, this would presumably cause tension and issues between the two legendary head coaches.
Tshiebwe averaged 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds while shooting 52.3% from the field this season, but he hasn’t looked like the Oscar Tshiebwe this season.
Tshiebwe, a All Big 12 Conference Second Team member, led the Mountaineers in scoring (11.2 points) and rebounds (9.3) last season.
Best of luck at Kentucky, Oscar! Once a Mountaineer, Always a Mountaineer!