After a magical regular season for Oscar Tshiebwe, the Kentucky Wildcats big man has been named the SEC Player of the Year by both league coaches and the Associated Press, it was announced Tuesday.
Tshiebwe was also an All-SEC First Team selection (coaches and AP) and a member of the All-Defensive Team (coaches).
A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tshiebwe is the 10th player in school history to win the coaches’ SEC Player of the Year award and the fifth in 13 seasons under John Calipari (six counting Malik Monk’s AP honor in 2017).
Entering the postseason, Tshiebwe is averaging a team-high 17.3 points and a nation-leading 15.3 rebounds per game. He’s the only major conference player averaging at least 1.5 blocked shots and 1.5 steals per game.
Wildcats to win an SEC Player of the Year award (AP or Coaches) under John Calipari:— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) March 8, 2022
2010: John Wall
2012: Anthony Davis
2016: Tyler Ulis
2017: Malik Monk
2020: Immanuel Quickley
2022: Oscar Tshiebwe
Tshiebwe has grabbed 10+ rebounds in all but two games this season and is in the midst of a stretch of 18-straight games with double-digit boards. That’s a record for the Wildcats dating back to the 1967-68 season with complete game-by-game rebounding records. Dan Issel had two stretches of 12 such games.
With 474 rebounds on the season, Tshiebwe has the third-most in one season in Kentucky men’s basketball history, and the most since Cliff Hagan in 1952. Two players have corralled more than 500 in a season (Bill Spivey — 567 in 1951 and Hagan — 528 in 1952).
Tshiebwe is in the midst of notching 13-straight double-doubles, the longest streak since complete game-by-game rebounding records were kept dating back to 1969. He has totaled 25 double-doubles this season and trails only Issel who has the record with 26 in 1969-70. He trails Navy’s David Robinson’s single-season record of 31 by just six which was set in 1985-86.
Expect this to be the first of many postseason awards and honors Tshiebwe racks up.
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