It was a miserable performance from Oscar Tshiebwe, who was struggling on the defensive end and couldn’t score over Alabama’s length on offense.
Tshiebwe finished the game with just 4 points on 1/7 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 fouls, and 4 turnovers.
After the game, John Calipari didn’t hold back in his criticism of Tshiebwe’s performance.
“Oscar played the beginning of the game. He gave up five dunks,” Calipari stated in postgame interviews
That explained why Tshiebwe was benched early in the first half and didn’t check back in until late in the period, despite not being in foul trouble.
On the offensive end, Tshiebwe could not find a way to score over the length of Charles Bediako.
“He (Tshiebwe) was fading away on some of this stuff, and that gave Bediako a chance to block shots instead of going through him,” Calipari said. “This kid (Bediako) has bothered him in the past. He’s 7-foot. He’s long.”
Like, it's literally just rinse/repeat for Alabama. First possession Oscar Tshiebwe is back on the court for Kentucky, they immediately go right back to ball-screen action, wait for him to get caught in no-man's land in the lane, throw lob. Bediako had 8 pts in 8 mins like this. pic.twitter.com/TCCa2UVeaG— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 7, 2023
Alabama continued to attack Tshiebwe with ball screens that led to a lot of easy buckets for them. Alabama coach Nate Oats said that was the plan coming into the game.
“We decided to attack him early on ball screens. I don’t think he’s very good at guarding ball screens,” Oats said of Tshiebwe. “We got behind him three times right out of the gate.”
He continued, “We’ve seen him mess up a bunch of ball screens in scouting them.”
Oscar Tshiebwe vs Alabama: -25— Nick Kelly (@_NickKelly) January 7, 2023
Charles Bediako vs Kentucky: +33
Everyone has a bad game sometimes, and that was the case for Tshiebwe on Saturday. Now, we have to see how he responds and works to be better the next time he faces a team with length like they faced against Alabama.