Oscar Tshiebwe had a dominant two seasons at Kentucky after two years at West Virginia, being named: the AP Player of the Year in 2021-22, the Naismith and John Wooden award winner, a two-time consensus All-American, and becoming decorated member of many SEC postseason awards. As a senior, Oscar Tshiebwe averaged 16.5 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1 BPG, and 2 TOPG on splits of 56/0/73. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Oscar Tshiebwe
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’4/9’0
Hand size: 10.25
Pre-draft team: Kentucky
Tools: Rebounding, frame, low post scoring
- Excellent low post scorer with good touch at the rim
- Historically good rebounder; can rebound through traffic with ease
- Runs the floor well- good quickness for his size
- High motor
- Adequate lateral quickness
- Plus frame with big hands, long arms, and NBA ready strength
- Big hands help him catch any rebound
- Expanded jump shot range to mid range
- Capable of being an above the rim finisher
- Good vision out of the post
- Shooting form is still a work in progress; doesn’t smoothly go off all fingers
- A bit short to play center
- Defends with his hands too much
- Not always in stance on defense
- Can panic with the ball at times, leading to turnovers
- Struggles to pass against contact/when bumped
- Saves the ball blindly below his own basket too much, resulting in easy points for the other team & turnovers
Oscar Tshiebwe is a post-oriented big man with a great frame and low post scoring ability, with some mid range shooting. Questions reside around his fit in the modern NBA and how his game will scale up to the NBA.
Tshiebwe’s first question comes down to how does his game translate to the NBA? He ran a lot of sets in post-ups at the heart of the paint, which isn’t entirely common in the NBA. Additionally, his main non-paint spot was the free throw line for flash offense, resulting in zone passing and mid-range shooting. In order to hit his upside, Tshiebwe will need frequent inside-out offense run where he controls the offense from the free throw line or paint, especially when he has a mismatch for post-ups.
The next question in how his game translates comes down to shooting. As a shooter, Tshiebwe can step out to the free throw line and consistently demand respect from defenders in his mid range jumper. Expanding his jump shooting range to 3 point shooting range in the NBA to survive offensively. Tshiebwe will need to have his 37% shooting on jump shots (24th percentile in the NCAA) improve in order to scale up to the NBA. He gets an awkward follow-through due to his extraordinarily large hands, but his skill as a shooter is there. With a mediocre free throw percentage and zero career 3s attempted, it’s hard to project Tshiebwe’s shooting having much of an impact.
Defensively, Tshiebwe has adequate lateral quickness, making him an inconsistent 1-on-1 defender, but more dangerously, a potential liability in the pick & roll. While it’s hard to put Tshiebwe in the rearview mirror with a dominant first step, he can play from a step behind quite often. If a team is deploying drop coverage defensively in the P&R, he can hold his own. If a team wants him to play high and be on an island, said team may see some liabilities in his game defensively. Tshiebwe, however, can hold his own against post-ups and generally against bigs in all play types.
No scouting report is complete without discussing Tshiebwe’s rebounding dominance. The counting stats paint a clear picture, but the advanced stats paint an even clearer picture. Oscar Tshiebwe is the only player since 2012 to have an offensive rebounding % of 19+ and a defensive rebounding % of 30+, and is the closest to a 20/30 split since 2010. This gives a strong case for Tshiebwe to be a generational rebounder, which could be his swing factor in deciding if his game translates as an undersized center.
Tshiebwe will make a living near the rim. If he can become a consistent low-post scorer that gets a high volume of rebounds per minute, while providing at least neutral defense, Tshiebwe can become a serviceable backup big.
Similar to: Justin Patton, Greg Monroe, Charles Bassey
Projected draft range: 40-undrafted
Expected role: Low-post scoring and rebounding big that plays with high energy.
Unplayable if: Jump shooting & play style doesn’t translate offensively, and defense doesn’t swing in his favor. Additionally, if some of his tendencies leading to mistakes don’t get ironed out, he will struggle to stay on the floor in a low-usage role.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting develops and he can consistently hit mid range jumpers and 3 pointers.