In the midst of one of the worst Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball seasons in recent memory, perhaps the biggest win when looking back at the dreadful 2020-21 season will be John Calipari and his staff managing to land West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe.
The former Second-Team All-Big 12 pick and the All-Newcomer Team selection as a freshman last season averaged 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 10 games this season before deciding to depart Morgantown.
Now officially a Wildcat and waiting for the 2021-22 season to make his debut in Kentucky Blue, the former five-star recruit ranks as the top transfer in the nation per ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.
“Tshiebwe was one of the best big men in the country as a freshman (11.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG), but struggled through 10 games this season before leaving,” Borzello wrote. “He ultimately chose Kentucky over Miami, Illinois and NC State.”
Here’s a look at Borzello’s top 10:
- Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia Mountaineers: Kentucky Wildcats
- Caleb Mills, Houston Cougars: Florida State Seminoles
- Nimari Burnett, Texas Tech Red Raiders: Undecided
- Paul Atkinson, Yale Bulldogs: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Parker Stewart, Tennessee Martin Skyhawks: Indiana Hoosiers
- Matt Cross, Miami Hurricanes: Undecided
- Jaylen Butz, DePaul Blue Demons: Undecided
- Chris Knight, Dartmouth Big Green: Loyola Chicago Ramblers
- Seneca Knight, San Jose Spartans: LSU Tigers
- Sincere Carry, Duquesne Dukes: Kent State Golden Flashes
While it’s obviously not helping this season’s team thus far, hopefully Tshiebwe can come in and make an impact in practice by improving the play of guys like Olivier Sarr, Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware.
And depending on what happens this offseason, Tshiebwe may very well be projected to be the Wildcats’ best player on the 2021-22 roster, even if his old-school game doesn’t make him a highly-touted NBA prospect.
For the full rankings and Borzello’s analysis, click here.