Morgantown, West Virginia – During Kentucky’s 82-74 win over Mississippi State – a game where Oscar Tshiebwe scored 21 points and had 22 rebounds – the ESPN television commentator mentioned that Tshiebwe “cried every day at West Virginia.”
He went on to imply that Tshiebwe was forced by a handler to go to West Virginia against his will. This, according to Tshiebwe himself, led him not giving his best effort for the Mountaineers, particularly during his sophomore season.
In an interview with The Athletic, Tshiebwe said the following: “When there’s something in your heart that you’re holding and you can’t let it go. I did not want to put that jersey on. God heard my cry for help and he said, get your stuff. It was a tough decision to leave. People say, ‘You’re ruining your life.’ People say, ‘If you make that decision, you’re done.’”
Think it's funny they just openly talk on Kentucky games about how a handler forced Oscar Tshiebwe to go to WVU against his will.
Not a big secret, and Im happy he's where he wants to be – but seems like the kind of thing the NCAA would investigate, if it was a real organization
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 26, 2022
When Tshiebwe committed to West Virginia, he cited Bob Huggins’ ability to help him grow as a man as one of the main reasons for coming to Morgantown. However, Tshiebwe also lived with the same host family as former West Virginia Mountaineers star Sagaba Konate.
Tshiebwe, who had only been in the United States for a couple of years, was an impressionable young man, and it appears that he was somehow forced, or aggressively talked into, playing for the Mountaineers when he’s real dream school was Kentucky.
Unfortunately, it’s clear now that Tshiebwe never really wanted to play for West Virginia or Bob Huggins, and it certainly showed in his sophomore season, when he was a shell of himself, averaging 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Since transferring to Kentucky, Tshiebwe has averaged 16.3 points and 15.2 rebounds per game, and is a national player of the year candidate.
Tshiebwe’s absence from West Virginia – combined with the loss of Derek Culver – has unfortunately led the Mountianeers from being one of the best rebounding teams in the Big 12 Conference to one of the worst in the entire nation.