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Oscar Tshiebwe leaving West Virginia made the Mountaineers a better team, says Bob Huggins

Sounds like it was not a great fit.

West Virginia v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

It is obvious now that Oscar Tshiebwe should have come to Kentucky in 2019, or at least somewhere other than Morgantown.

Though he had a great freshmen campaign at West Virginia two years ago, it’s safe to say Tshiebwe’s career with the Mountaineers ended on a sour note.

Tshiebwe was set for a breakout sophomore season, but West Virginia coach Bob Huggins brought in another player with a similar skill set and that caused some spacing issues for the Mountaineers. He told the media during a press conference for the NCAA Tournament that it helped his team run the offense with Tshiebwe out of the picture.

“I think the reality is when Oscar left, we became a much better offensive team because we could spread people,” Huggins told the media, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I think the challenge was when we had Derek (Culver) and Oscar both, we kind of it seemed like at times ran out of room. … When we had those two post guys, neither one of them could make a shot from the perimeter.”

That should come as no surprise given Kentucky’s spacing issues this season. Having the wrong combination of non-shooters on the court can really clog the lane and prevent penetration, thus making for very few open looks.

Obviously, Tshiebwe’s talent was not an issue. It was not even about a fit for the offense. The problem was a personnel issue where there were multiple players with the same skill set in the lineup at times.

Tshiebwe is exactly the type of player Kentucky needs on next year’s roster. There is not currently another player on the roster that plays like he does, and his inside presence should help Kentucky’s offense a great deal. So take no offense to Huggins’ comments. Oscar should be a star in Lexington next season.