West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe officially signed with Kentucky just a few weeks after announcing he would be leaving the WVU program to pursue different opportunities. The 6-foot-9 forward who accompanies a 7-foot-5 wingspan will be eligible to practice with this year’s squad, and then play on the Rupp Arena floor next season.
“Kentucky just felt like the perfect place for me,” Tshiebwe said. “I love the way they play, the coaches’ players-first approach and just how Kentucky felt like home to me. I’m looking forward to coming in and helping the team this year in practice and I can’t wait to compete for Big Blue Nation.”
Kentucky recruited Tshiebwe in high school as part of the 2019 class before the forward eventually signed with West Virginia. As a Mountaineer, he started in all 31 games in his freshman season, averaging 11.2 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game. His performance earned him a spot on the All-Big-12 Team as well as the selection for Big-12 Newcomer of the Year. He also led the country in offensive rebounding percentage (19%).
The Congo native was off to another solid start in his sophomore year, averaging 8.5 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game before deciding to transfer. Now, he can bring that toughness to the Joe Craft Center this season.
“We recruited Oscar two years ago and absolutely fell in love with his effort, his energy and his desire to improve,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Oscar has a rare combination of strength and skill with tremendous length, not to mention he’s a wonderful kid. There is no question his time at West Virginia was well spent playing for a terrific coach and friend in Bob Huggins. Oscar won’t be able to play for us this season but we’re looking forward to getting him here and be a part of this culture. He will really help us in practice.”
Tsheibwe is a huge pickup for the Cats, and helps solidify next year’s roster even earlier that anticipated.