Updated: 6 days ago
(Picture via UKAthletics)
The reigning National Player of the Year paused his summer workouts to meet with the media last week to discuss where he's at in his offseason training, what he's been working on and what he wants to accomplish in year two.
After averaging 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.6 blocks and 1.1 assists a night on 60.6% shooting through 34 games, along with winning nearly every award possible presented throughout college basketball, you'd think there wouldn't be much for him to 'improve' on but he somehow has found a few things that he believes will take him to the next level - a potential first round draft pick.
"This year I think I got to improve forceable passing. Catching the ball at the top of the key, pump fake, attack the rim and pass, finishing. Catch the ball at the post, look on the side and if the help side comes, kick it out. Sometimes dribble too... And I'm working on my jump shot. Three-point is going to help us a lot but that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just sort of thinking about it like a one or a two (shot attempt). To see how my three-point shot will get but now in practice I'm knocking them down, doing a lot of good things and everything is getting better. We got plenty of time to work on that stuff," said Oscar Tshiebwe.
After getting feedback from league scouts as well as the UK coaching staff, it's clear that his main goal for this upcoming season is to develop a serious mid-range shot which will extend his presence and overall authority on the court to much more than just six feet around the rim. Improving his jump shot, his ability to "attack the rim and pass" and his dribbling mechanics, paired up with every thing we watched him do this past season, I believe that there will be a team to take a chance on him in the '23 NBA Draft.
During his junior year of college, first at Kentucky, Oscar Tshiebwe collected a lot of hardware. 30 to be exact.
John R. Wooden Award
Naismith Player of the Year
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy
Associated Press Player of the Year
NABC National Player of the Year
NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year
NCAA Consensus All-America First Team
Wooden Award All-America Team
USBWA First-Team All-America
NABC First-Team All-America
Associated Press First-Team All-America
Sporting News First-Team All-America
Wooden Award All-America Team
NABC All-District 20 First Team
Southeastern Conference Player of the Year (coaches/media)
All-SEC First Team (coaches/media)
All-SEC Defensive Team (coaches)
USBWA District IV Player of the Year
USBWA All-District IV team
CBS Sports National Player of the Year
USA Today National Player of the Year
USA Today First-Team All-American
The Athletic’s National Player of the Year
Sports Illustrated First-Team All-American
The Field of 68 National Player of the Year
The Field of 68 First-Team All-America
College Hoops Today National Player of the Year
USA Today SEC Player of the Year
USA Today First-Team All-SEC unanimous selection
Crazy right? I know. Imagine having to type all that out... Anyways, on top of filling up his trophy case, there was one goal that didn't get met and it has now become Oscar's number one mission for what's presumably his last year in Lexington... to win a championship.
“We all got one goal, it’s for number nine,” Tshiebwe said on Thursday during his press conference. “I came back for one reason and I hope God will fulfill our purpose. Before I leave here... I don’t just come in, pick up my trophy and go home… Number nine, that’s my purpose.”
Yep, I'm ready to RUN THROUGH A WALL - HURRY UP AND GET HERE OCTOBER!
Oscar Tshiebwe ended the season becoming only the second Wildcat since 1978-79 to finish the season leading the team in points per game (17.4), rebounds per game (15.1), steals per game (1.8), blocks per game (1.6) and field-goal percentage with a minimum of 100 attempts (60.6%). Anthony Davis was the only other Cat to achieve the feat.
As we get ready for another round with the player who was basically sculpted in a lab as the top standard of a UK basketball star, use this clip released by the social media team to hold you by until the Bahamas trip gets here.