UPDATE – 7:10 p.m.
Former West Virginia big man Oscar Tshiebwe has officially announced on his Twitter that he will transfer to the University of Kentucky.
I am grateful for the time I spent at West Virginia, and the lessons that I learned. I’ve spent a lot of time praying to God to help me make the best decision for my future. I am excited for this new chapter of my life. I will continue my career at the University of Kentucky #BBN pic.twitter.com/rm08UwtDBI
— Big O (@Oscartshiebwe34) January 11, 2021
Former West Virginia forward Oscar Tshiebwe has committed to transfer to the University of Kentucky, Jon Rothstein reported Sunday night.
Sources: West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe has officially committed to Kentucky.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 10, 2021
The announcement comes nine days after WVU announced that the 6-foot-9 Tshiebwe was stepping away from the team due to “personal reasons”. Just hours after the announcement, WVU coach Bob Huggins publically announced the sophomore would “absolutely not” return to the team this season.
Tshiebwe’s intentions became clear last Tuesday when it was reported he had officially entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal. Since then, it was reported that Tshiebwe had virtual meetings with Miami, NC State, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee.
After averaging 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds as a freshman in 2019-20, Tshiebwe regressed a bit in 10 games this season. He was averaging 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds when he parted with the Mountaineers. He had just two double-doubles on the season but had scored 12 points in three of his last four games.
With the NCAA granting all players blanket eligibility for this season, Tshiebwe will have three seasons of eligibility remaining, although he clearly has NBA aspiration, entering his name into the draft following his freshman season.
WVU has adapted to using a smaller lineup in three games since Tshiebwe’s departure. Redshirt-freshman Jalen Bridges has started in Tshiebwe’s place in all three games. The Mountaineers are thin in the frontcourt as a result of Tshiebwe’s transfer and a season-ending injury to freshman Isaiah Cottrell.