First, it was two years with the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Then, it was two years with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Now, instead of returning, it seems former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe has his eyes set on the NBA Draft.
Tshiebwe, despite being college basketball’s best rebounder over the past few seasons, likely won’t be a first-round pick. He may not be drafted at all.
However, Tshiebwe could still go pro and opt to sign as an undrafted free agent. But with a year of college eligibility left, it would make sense for him to return to college as well.
There has been some buzz Tshiebwe could entertain a transfer if he returns to college, but he shut that down this week at the NBA Combine.
“That is not an option. I will never transfer. Kentucky’s my home. If there’s a chance to go professional, I’ll go pro. If there’s a chance to not go professional, I will go back to Kentucky. I’ve never even thought about going (another) place. Kentucky is my home. It’s a dream place. I can’t leave my home. That’s my place, forever,” Tshiebwe told Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader.
However, the odds of Tshiebwe going pro have increased this week, as he’s been one of the top performers at the NBA Combine scrimmages.
On Wednesday, Tshiebwe racked up 10 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 17:43 of action.
Then on Thursday, Tshiebwe accounted for 16 points, nine boards, two steals, and a blocked shot across 23:17.
Tshiebwe, especially with the Cats not bringing in Hunter Dickinson from Michigan, will have a spot back on the team if he wants it, but he’s made it clear he wants a shot at the pros, and he’s making a good case this week for a team to draft him in Round 2.
With the June draft nearing, expect news on his decision in the relatively near future.
16 & 9 today for Oscar Tshiebwe today.— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) May 19, 2023
Here’s more clips from last night’s pro-day workout. pic.twitter.com/iJFke93xr9