I know we aren't suppose to freak out over the annual Blue-White scrimmage, because players over-perform and set our expectations way too high, but I want to touch on the display of the 'Big O' for just a moment.
Last Friday Oscar was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List, an honor given to the nations best big men each season. This summer he said he wanted to average 20 rebounds a game. While that seems to be on the far end of the spectrum, but definitely not impossible, I do believe if anyone is going to do it - or come close to doing it - he fits the role. Tshiebwe is an absolute threat around the rim and there's not many big men in the country who can block him out. He definitely makes the short-list of players who could potentially average twenty rebounds a game (I think he'll be around 13 a game), or come close to it.
Oscar Tshiebwe finished the BW scrimmage with 25 points (team high), 21 rebounds (team high), 2 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal playing all 40 minutes. Oscar shot 12/15 from the field and 1/2 from the free-throw line. Fourteen of his 21 rebounds were offensive boards. An impressive night (a little skewed) against his own team.
“We played against each other and that's the example we show people. We are getting better. We have a good team, and we are going to do good this year but tonight we just showed people what we can do. We got more (to give) and we got a lot of energy to compete with others,” said Tshiebwe.
When asked how he felt after achieving the 20/20 stat line in his first appearance, he said, "I told the coach I am going for 20 and 20 and it was what I got. As you could see tonight, I was playing basketball, but I was going 100%. I am excited. Tonight was great. I had fun out there. I can’t wait until we start.” The 'Big O' seems to be determined to ride that out deep into the season.
It's no doubt he will ranked with the best of the best in the rebounding category this season, even if he does happen to fall short of twenty (rebounds) a game. Oscar believes he could lead the country. “I think it’s pretty high. People will see what is coming. I am working. I have wanted to play basketball since I was a kid, so I am so excited to be back."
A reporter said that Oscar looked like a "man amongst boys" out on the court during the scrimmage. “Yeah, as you can see, I was snatching the ball from them. Before I even caught the ball and when it was in the air, I would tell them, ‘Get away, get away, that’s my ball. That’s my money.’ That’s how I am making money. So, it was great. I just got to fight because nothing easy is given to you. You have to go get it. Go get the ball, that’s what I did today. I did fight.”
“Whenever you go 100%, all the time, like the coach says, ‘If you aren’t coming in here to fight, don’t expect to play because we are going to put in somebody who wants to fight.’ That’s why we always go 100% so we can help each other. We want to win it all every game, but if we don’t do our best, go hard all the time, we aren't going to beat people who are working harder.”
Averaging 20 points and 20 rebounds for forty straight games (title game or nothin') is quite the task, but until he I get proven wrong after a few games put to the test, I might just keep my mouth shut. Please prove me wrong, Oscar. Get them boards.