Saturday, December 10, 2022

Kentucky’s Tshebewe wants to expand his game next season

Lexington, Q. ( Associated Press) — Oscar Tshibwe quickly learned that achieving his dream of being an NBA draft lottery pick requires much more than just being the best player in college basketball.

So even after becoming an impressive presence on both ends of the floor, the Kentucky junior forward plans to spend the offseason taking his game beyond the arc and in other stages to take himself and the Wildcats to the next level.

“The NBA’s response was like Oscars, you can expand your game from the outside, make a game or two 3s a game,” Tshibwe said on ESPN on Friday after announcing two days ago that he would return to school. .

He said scouts told him to “fake, attack the rim, make your passes, and do better dribbling. You’ll be good in this position next year.”

The native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said that name, image and likeness were not a big factor in his decision to return. There are restrictions for foreign student-athletes, but financial gains to Tshebwe can exceed seven digits.

Tshibewe has been cautious in discussing the matter because of his student visa status, but recently met with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, to help improve support opportunities for himself and other foreign-born players. So to receive.

“I tell him, if you can help all of us, internationals (athletes), then we can also benefit from these things,” Tshibwe said. “We have family, we need to help too. He says he’s going to try because it’s a new thing for him. I know he has power.”

As for his game, 6-foot-9, 255-pound Tshiebwe also seemed eager to make suggested physical improvements after National Player of the Year honors, including last season’s Associated Press Player of the Year accolade.,

The West Virginia transfer emerged as a consistent double-digit scorer and rebounder on 17.4 points and a nation-leading 15.1 rebounds per game for Kentucky (26-8). Tshibwe’s performances included a school-record 26 double-doubles, a run that included his last 16 appearances.

But for all those impressive efforts, several NBA draft boards ranked Tshibwe in the second round. Lower-than-expected estimates coupled with the Wildcats’ surprise first-round NCAA Tournament defeat to No. 15 seed St. PetersAfter praying, fasting, and talking to her mother, she firmed up her decision to return.

“I’m good either way because I know God is going to take care of me, no matter what I want to do with my life,” said Tshibwe, whose persistent faith as well as his drama made him popular. is In the Bluegrass State.

Tshiebwe will center around Kentucky’s revamped roster.

Freshman guard Tyty Washington Jr. has entered the NBA draft and has been touted as a potential top-10 selection. Guards Kellan Grady and Davian Mintz ended their qualifications, while guards Deontay Allen and forward Bryce Hopkins relocated.

Forwards Keon Brooks Jr. and Jacob Toppin and guard Shaden Sharp will go through the draft evaluation process but retain their eligibility with a June 1 deadline of returning to school. Point guard Sahveer Wheeler is expected back in Lexington.

Tshibwe expect to get on well with everyone around him and get more attention from opponents.

“I love when I’m a target for a lot of people,” he said. “So I get more prepared.

“Everyone’s going to say, I’m going up against Oscar, I’m going to try to destroy him. I’m the one who got people to do that, so I think I’ll be good.”


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