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Analysts make case for Oscar Tshiebwe and Chris Livingston to return to Kentucky

Lexington may be a better option than struggling at the next level for these two former Cats.

Tennessee v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats are getting some major talent this offseason, and they could get some returning as well. Kentucky has four top 15 recruits joining its program this upcoming fall. That’s a lot of firepower.

While unlikely, former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe could return to college after expressing his desire to join the NBA.

Tshiebwe isn’t commonly mocked as a top-tier prospect, potentially slipping into the second round or going undrafted, so he may find it more lucrative to return to college for another year.

He isn’t the only potential Wildcat that may find it more beneficial to return to Lexington. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish explained this thinking of why it may be beneficial for Tshiebwe to return to Kentucky.

“But considering the former CBS Sports National Player of the Year isn’t projected to get picked by most, it’s reasonable to assume Tshiebwe will be able to make more money next season at Kentucky than he’d be able to make playing basketball literally anywhere else in the world,” Parrish said.

Tshiebwe wasn’t the only one that may find it beneficial to return to college. In this same article, CBS Sports’ David Cobb went into the benefits of former five-star recruit Chris Livington staying in the Bluegrass state with the mindset basically the same.

“Livingston entered Kentucky as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2022 and showed plenty of promise on the defensive end while starting in 26 of 34 games for the Wildcats. But the 6-foot-6 wing has plenty to work on offensively before he can be considered a safe bet to get selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He averaged just 6.3 points per game on 30.5% 3-point shooting during his freshman campaign didn’t show much shot-creation acumen,” Cobb wrote.

The points are the same for both — it is tough to break into the NBA, and it may be in their best long-term interest to take another year and agree to more NIL deals and also master their craft.

Regardless, it will be up to them, but with college now lucrative for top-tier talent, it makes sense for them to take their time instead of making an irrational jump.

For now, they are expected to move to the highest level in basketball, but it is yet to be seen if they actually follow through with those decisions.