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Oscar Tshiebwe’s high school coach weighs in on NBA decision

Tshiebwe’s former high school coach thinks there might be a decent shot of a return.

Oscar Tshiebwe Isamu Haynes-Sunayama - Sea of Blue

There are two names that Kentucky Wildcats basketball fans are watching this offseason to see if they will suit up next season in Lexington.

First, you have Shaedon Sharpe, who by all accounts is likely to head to the NBA Draft after arriving in Lexington midway through this past season.

The other is fan-favorite Oscar Tshiebwe, who seems to have a difficult decision at hand.

Earlier this week, Tshiebwe’s former high school coach spoke with Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader, giving his thoughts on what his former standout big man will do.

All signs point to Tshiebwe entering the draft while also keeping his eligibility for a potential return to Kentucky.

“I don’t know how he can honestly not come back if he’s not assured of being a first-round pick, Rick Mancino said. “I think he loves it there. And I think it would only be positive to go back (to Kentucky).”

Like most people, however, if he gets that first-round guarantee, it would be likely to see Oscar keep his name in the draft.

“If they call and say you’re 100% getting picked somewhere (in the first round), then hit the road,” said Mancino. “How do you tell a kid to pass up that?”

This decision will stem back to just a few months ago when Oscar finally became eligible to benefit from the NIL rules that were put into place for college athletics this season. If you remember correctly, it was reported shorty after that he could have a multi-million dollar deal on the table if he were to return to UK.

That’s where the question becomes; Where do NBA scouts see him fitting at?

Currently, Oscar is slated as an early second-round pick, with some NBA mock drafts having him slide into the late first territory. This is where draft workouts are going to be huge on where he ultimately falls on teams draft boards.

Can he be a consistent rim protector? Can he hit enough jump shots to stretch out the defense? Those are both questions scouts will have heading into his pre draft workouts.

Now the waiting game begins.

Be sure to read Jerry Tipton’s full report at the Herald-Leader.