(Photo by Jamie Squire / Getty Images)
Kentucky landed the best basketball transfer prospect in the market heading into the 2021-22 season.
West Virginia center and former five-star prospect Oscar Tshiebwe engaged in Kentucky, choosing the Wildcats over offers and interests from Illinois, Miami (FL) and Carolina State of the North, among others.
After missing the remainder of the 2020-21 season, the newer Wildcat will have three years of eligibility starting in 2021-2022.
Tshiebwe, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound center from Congo, averaged 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in ten sophomore games before entering the transfer portal last week. The former five-star prospect, who boasts an impressive 7-foot-5 wingspan, led West Virginia in scoring and rebounding with 11.2 points and 9.3 boards per game in the freshman, respectively. It was a freshman campaign that saw him win All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Freshman Team honors, as well as All-Big 12 Team preseason honors for the current season. CBS Sports ranked the former WVU center as the No.15 player in college basketball heading into the 2020-2021 season.
Prior to his time at Morgantown, Tshiebwe was rated five stars by 247Sports and Rivals.com, which ranked the standout center as the No. 23 and No. 26 rookie in the Class of 2019, respectively. ESPN ranked him as a four-star prospect and the No. 48 rookie in his class.
He was also named a McDonald’s All-American in 2019, a game in which he finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes.
During the legendary All-American Game, Tshiebwe told KSR he loves Britain’s head coach John Calipari and what the Kentucky basketball program has to offer.
“It was a tough decision because I love Kentucky and I love Coach Calipari,” Tshiebwe said. “But I ended up in West Virginia because it’s a school I thought about (growing up). I love the way they play, I love the coach, I love the program. That’s why I ended up going there.
And if he hadn’t signed with the Mountaineers, he was heading to Lexington.
“Coach Calipari was telling me, ‘I want to train you! Come play for me! I will train you and help you become a great player. I will help you make your dreams come true. … Kentucky was second.
It might not have been right away, but Tshiebwe finally found his way to Lexington two years later as a transfer.
Check out the latest Wildcat highlights:
Welcome home, Mr. Tshiebwe.