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Morgantown, West Virginia – Before Oscar Tshiebwe quit on his West Virginia Mountaineers teammates halfway through last season, he looked like a shell of his former self, averaging only 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting 52% from the field.

Last night, in Kentucky’s first game of the season against Duke, Oscar Tshiebwe looked better than ever, leading the entire team in both points and rebounds.  Although Kentucky lost the game to Duke 79-71, Tshiebwe finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds in 29 minutes of play.

Tshiebwe, now a junior, broke the Kentucky record for most rebounds in a game in a debut, breaking the previous record of 17 set by Roger Newman in 1960, Cotton Nash in 1961 and Sam Bowie in 1979.

The West Virginia Mountaineers were severely out-rebounded 48-33 against Oakland last night in their season opening win and will definitely miss Tshiebwe’s ability to rebound this season.

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Brad Smith, "The Voice of Morgantown", is the most trusted, accomplished name in West Virginia sports journalism. Smith is the foremost, preeminent authority on West Virginia athletics and a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers. Smith, a proud graduate of West Virginia University, resides in Morgantown most of the year, but has a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives during the winter.