Oscar Tshiebwe shines in Kentucky’s Blue-White game


Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) dunks the ball during a practice on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Hunter Shelton

Oscar Tshiebwe introduced himself to Big Blue Nation in a big way on Friday night, shining in Kentucky’s annual Blue-White game.  

The junior West Virginia transfer dominated his fellow Wildcats, recording 25 points and 21 rebounds in 40 minutes of play, as his Blue team defeated the White team, 108-80.

Tonight was great, I had fun out there and I cannot wait until we start,” Tshiebwe said. 

14 of the six-foot-nine, 255-pound forward’s rebounds came on the offensive glass. 

“Did you see how hard he plays, how fast he runs?,” head coach John Calipari said. 

Tshiebwe’s point and rebound totals were both good for highest on the team in Friday’s scrimmage. The Democratic Republic of the Congo native also finished with the second-best plus-minus rating at plus 28. 

“There’s nothing easy that can be given to you,” Tshiebwe said. 

On the receiving end of Tshiebwe’s dominance was returning sophomore Lance Ware.  

Ware would hold his own, totaling 20 points and 10 rebounds. Ware knows that the challenge of handling his new teammate is only going to help them both in the long run: 

“Being out there with [Tshiebwe,] he’s elevated me as a player,” Ware said. “I’m thankful for it, I’m trying to elevate him as a player, play just as hard as him and compete.” 

Finishing ahead of Tshiebwe in the plus-minus category was fellow newcomer TyTy Washington.  

Washington, a freshman who finished with 24 points on 10-17 shooting, knows that he can let the basketball fly with confidence, because his big man will likely be the one retrieving the rebound: 

“I know, as long as Oscar is underneath the rim, anything we put up, if we don’t make it, I know we still have an opportunity,” Washington said.  

Tshiebwe comes to Kentucky following one season at West Virginia, where the forward averaged 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in 31 contests.  

While just an inter-squad scrimmage, Tshiebwe’s 21 boards pose a serious threat to any forward that will stand in the paint with him this season.  

Tshiebwe knows what is expected out of him by his coaches, and he is prepared to deliver. 

“If you’re not coming here to fight, don’t expect to play… I just got to fight,” Tshiebwe said.  

Tshiebwe and the Cats will return to action on Friday, Oct. 29, taking on Kentucky Wesleyan in their first of two exhibition games in the lead up to the regular season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. E.T.