Last season, Oscar Tshiebwe dominated college basketball and rewrote the record books as he went on to become the first unanimous National Player of the Year in Kentucky basketball history.
Despite a dominant season, Tshiebwe was not looked at as a first-round draft pick in the eyes of the NBA as he went through the process, leading him to come back and showing that there is room to improve.
Standing 6-foot-9, Tshiebwe will be an undersized big in the NBA and will need to improve his shooting, but UK strength coach Braden Welsh believes he can also improve as an athlete.
Tshiebwe weighs a stout and chiseled 255 pounds with only ~7 percent body fat, giving him the power to be an interior force.
In a UK Athletics video feature, Welsh had some high praise for the star big man.
“Strength-wise...power-wise...force-wise...leverage-wise, he’s (Tshiebwe) the strongest player on the team easily. He’s the best on the team. Probably the best I’ve ever worked with,” Welsh exclaimed.
More free, more fluid, more athletic.— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) August 7, 2022
Inside the weight room with @B_Welsh11 on how @Oscartshiebwe34 is becoming a better athlete. pic.twitter.com/vJ1dtHa7wB
However, Welsh also believes that Tshiebwe relies on his size and power too much, which could hurt him in the NBA.
“The goal is if we work on this every day, he can start to realize some more of his power. As compared to just running through people all the time, (it’s) more of a situation where he’s moving around people and being able actually to be an athlete,” Welsh said.
In his return press conference, Tshiebwe noted that he swept all the individual awards and that this season’s goal is to bring the Kentucky Wildcats another NCAA championship.
As the team goes into the Bahamas, it is clear he — as well as Jacob Toppin — is putting in the work this offseason to make that happen, per Welsh’s Instagram story.
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