Oscar Tshiebwe has been a force for the Kentucky Wildcats.
The reigning National Player of the Year is one of the best big men in college basketball, but when it comes to keeping his mid-game tempter in check, Tshiebwe may not be the best in the nation.
Against Arkansas this past week and several times over the past few weeks, Tshiebwe has been at the forefront of difficult officiating decisions. The announcers were surprised when he wasn’t hit with a flagrant foul against Arkansas in a play in which he appeared to throw an elbow in the game’s opening minutes.
The star knows that is something he will need to work on, especially as the Cats gear up for an SEC Tournament run followed by what should be an NCAA Tournament berth.
“When you start getting fouled...fouled...fouled, it started affecting me to play aggressively to help my team, so I gotta relax,” Tshiebwe said during postgame interviews.
The former West Virginia transfer hasn’t quite played up to the level he put himself at last season, but he has played well enough to be an All-American while being a crucial piece of the Cats’ game plan on both sides of the court.
Tshiebwe is currently averaging 16.4 points per game and shooting 56.4% from the field. He’s also bringing down 13.1 rebounds per game and recording 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
Expect Tshiebwe to be better, especially following a clear showing of acknowledgment of the situation.