clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Wildcats Saturday Headlines: The Great Oscar Debate Edition

While the Wildcat big man has put his name in the NBA he maintains his college eligibility

Kentucky v Kansas State Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

It’s never a dull moment during the offseason for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball season. Yesterday Oscar Tshibewe announced that he will test the NBA waters while maintaining his college eligibility, leaving a return to Lexington as a possibility.

This announcement comes after a few days where college basketball insiders such as Jeff Goodman, Seth Greenberg, Travis Branham, among others, said that a third year of Oscar Tshiebwe at Kentucky is not only possible but probable. This left many fans stunned as many felt, as did I, that he would move on and take his chances in the NBA.

When Oscar returned a year ago, the announcement was met with jubilation and dreams of a ninth banner. Unfortunately this season ended up, again, in disappointment and some viewed the deficiencies of Oscar as one of the main issues with last season being a flop.

While Oscar once again put up big numbers in regards to rebounding and scoring around the rim, his defense was an issue and it was a killer issue. He didn’t exhibit the ability to stretch the floor with any consistency and the offense, while able to put up nice numbers, still lacked fluidity for the wing players as Oscar camped in the middle.

While many Kentucky fans would welcome an Oscar return, many are skeptical or are just flat out ready to move on with a new big man.

Now, to be clear, this isn’t just an Oscar Tshiebwe thing. Many fans rolled their eyes when it was reported that the Kentucky staff had a Zoom call with portal big man Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson is a very similar big man to Oscar with a better shooting touch, lesser rebounding skills and the same issues on defense.

On Friday we talked to Cats Illustrated’s David Sisk about these topics and he echoed the same concerns with Oscar and with Dickinson. When asked what Calipari was going to do in regards to a big man to compliment incoming freshman Aaron Bradshaw, he said to watch out for Oregon transfer Kel’el Ware. He said things are very interesting between Kentucky and Ware even though it’s been quiet around those two.

And then this happened later on Friday:

Ware and Bradshaw are the types of bigs that Calipari has missed ever since Nick Richards departed after his junior year: long, super athletic rim protectors and erases defensive mistakes.

Oscar has been great for Kentucky and it could be strongly argued that without him last year’s team isn’t a two seed and this past team isn’t even in the tournament. It could also be argued that there is a definite ceiling with a big like Oscar and that a title is not in the picture.

So, BBN, what do you think?


What do you think about a third year with Oscar Tshiebwe?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Yes! Bring it on!
    (614 votes)
  • 40%
    No. Love Oscar but it’s time to try something different.
    (422 votes)
1036 votes total Vote Now

Tweet of the Day

The hottest team in baseball keeps it rolling!


Sahvir Wheeler visits Georgia | On3- What a strange trip it has been for Sahvir Wheeler. Kentucky could see its former starting point guard in another SEC uniform next season.

Vince Marrow is impressed with Devin Leary | Vaught’s Views- The UK transfer QB looks to be ahead of schedule returning from an injury that ended his season at previous school NC State.

Kentucky baseball rallies for opening win in Athens | Cats Illustrated- They were down 4-0 until they busted it open in the sixth inning and won 7-4. They are 27-3 and 9-1 in the SEC. What a difference a year makes!

Kentucky softball gets win at Ole Miss | KSR- The softball Cats open their road series with a win yesterday as well!

Masters Leaderboard | CBS- It was an odd day at the Masters as there was a weather delay and falling trees.