Tshiebwe and Austin, Former High School Teammates, Face Off in College Debuts
The stats from the game may not count, but Oscar Tshiebwe’s collegiate debut was impressive nonetheless.
The true freshman dominated against the Duquesne Dukes, racking up a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
“That was great, I was excited to play my first college game,” Tshiebwe said following the game. “College is just a different level. At this level, to play basketball, you’ve got to be ready to go.”
Tshiebwe’s was not the only highly-anticipated freshman debut on the night. Freshman guard Maceo Austin was one of Duquesne’s biggest recruits this past season. It just so happens, he and Tshiebwe are familiar with one another.
Tshiebwe and Austin played together at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, Pennsylvania for the last two years. The duo led Kennedy Catholic to state championships in both 2017 and 2018, the third and fourth straight for the Golden Eagles.
Tshiebwe said he never thought he would get to play against his old teammate.
“That was fun, I never thought we were going to play against each other,” Tshiebwe said. “It was fun.”
Tshiebwe went on to be ranked as a five-star center recruit, eventually being named a McDonalds All-American. He announced his commitment to West Virginia last October after naming WVU, Illinois and Kentucky as his final teams.
Austin was ranked as a three-star shooting guard and signed on to play for the Dukes in November. He left Kennedy Catholic as the second all-time leading scorer, with 1,971 points over his four seasons. Kennedy Catholic won a state all four years while Austin was there.
Austin finished the exhibition with six points and a couple of steals.
The duo also played AAU basketball with fellow WVU freshman Jalen Bridges. Bridges, who will redshirt this season, scored four points in what could be the only five minutes he plays all season.
Austin said he enjoyed getting to compete against a couple of former teammates.
“It was cool, those were my guys,” Austin said. “It was a bit weird being in the opposite jersey, but it was a cool feeling.”
Despite being first-time opponents Friday night, Austin said they all avoided any trash talk.
“Nah, those are my guys, they know what it is.”