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And the Oscar Goes to…

And the Oscar Goes to…

Courtesy of Musket Artworks

West Virginia University!  On October 18, 2018, Oscar Tshiebwe committed to West Virginia and fans immediately considered pairing him up with Derek Culver and Sagaba Konate to create the best interior trio in the Big 12 and likely in the country.  Thoughts of hanging banners and cutting down nets crossed all WVU fans’ minds.  However, Oscar Tshiebwe (pronounced SHE-bwee) is not the savior for West Virginia basketball.  He will not immediately step on the Coliseum floor and make WVU basketball national championship contenders.  What he will give Bob Huggins’ team is a 6’9, 250 forward that has the talent, athleticism and body that will immediately make him college-ready and really, nearly NBA-ready.  Nbadraft.net currently has him as the #17 pick in their 2020 Mock Draft – https://www.nbadraft.net/2020mock_draft

But before the NBA is even discussed, consider his time at West Virginia.  We have one, maybe two years to enjoy him.

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He is the ultimate Bob Huggins’ player.  If Huggins could create his own player coming out of high school, Oscar Tshiebwe would be almost exactly the player he would construct.  Size, skill, strength, rebounding-intensity, coachability, he has everything Huggins could ever dream from a high school senior.   He has an unbelievable motor, which is what really sets him apart from other players at the high school level.  According to 24/7 Sport’s evaluation, Tshiebwe “is a big, strong and burly post player.  He is arguably the hardest playing prospect in the 2019 class. He’s tough, physical and doesn’t take plays off. Tshiebwe’s biggest value is in his rebounding, as he consistently goes to the glass, pursuing the ball with both hands. His motor seems to be endless and his brute strength is tough for opposing players to deal with at this stage.”

Bob Huggins is drooling after reading that evaluation.  Mouth agape, drool streaming down his chin, total loss of bodily functions, Huggins has to be yearning for and dreamingly thinking about what his team can do with his dream recruit in the future.  After this extraordinarily disappointing and frustrating season, the duo of Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe will certainly make Bob Huggin’s job easier next year.  Sagaba Konate, who, like Tshiebwe, also went to Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, PA and lived with the same host family that Tshiebwe now lives with, might also be forced to return next year.  Even with all the poor advice in the world, Konate must realize that he would make the worst possible decision possible by foregoing his Senior year for a shot at professional basketball next year, particularly after his pseudo-injury this season.  Culver, Tshiebwe and Konate would form the best front court in the country.  Perhaps a Big 12 Championship and a major run in the NCAA Tournament is not inconceivable next year.

For now, Oscar Tshiebwe will attempt to win the PA state championship.  His team, Kennedy Catholic, is 21-3 overall and 8-0 in conference.  In addition, Tshiebwe will play for the West squad in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Atlanta on March 27th.

Brad Smith is a Senior Writer for Mountaineer Sports. He is a proud West Virginia University Graduate and splits his time between Morgantown, West Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida and Caracas, Venezuela.

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