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College programs have reportedly reached out to Oscar Tshiebwe through back channels

As of now, Tshiebwe still has his eyes on the NBA or a return to UK.

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Kentucky v Kansas State Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe has declared for the NBA Draft, but he will retain his college eligibility throughout the process.

Tshiebwe isn’t expected to be a first-round pick, and he could return to college, where name, image, and likeness deals have made it more lucrative for high-profile players to stay instead of going to the next level.

Tshiebwe’s game isn’t one that’s expected to have a flawless transition to the NBA. He’s relatively undersized for his position and might not have the offensive or defensive capability to thrive against quicker guards and bigger centers.

If he does opt to return to college, could Tshiebwe enter the transfer portal?

Per The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker, Tshiebwe has already had multiple colleges express interest through back channels. However, Tshiebwe plans to return to the Big Blue Nation if he doesn’t head to the NBA.

Word is, multiple college programs have already been back-channeling to express interest in (and major NIL opportunities for) Tshiebwe. While that seems ominous for Kentucky, here’s the good news: The big man loves UK and has repeatedly told staff members he wants to be back in Lexington if not the draft.

Tshiebwe has spent the last two seasons with Kentucky, averaging 16.5 points and 13.7 rebounds per game last season. He shot 56% from the field and a career-high 72.9% from the free-throw line.

The deadline to withdraw from the draft is May 31st, and Tshiebwe is expected to take his decision close to that date.