Wildcats SEC awards

Thank You, Big O

After months of anticipation, Oscar Tshiebwe is officially declared for the NBA Draft.

Despite unexpected end-of-year results, he still gave us two of the most incredible seasons by an individual to ever put on a Kentucky jersey. His final resume is simply incredible.

As a Junior…

  • Unanimous National Player of the Year (Sporting News, Associated Press, United States Basketball Writer’s Association, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award)
  • First player in program history to win all six NCAA-recognized awards
  • First player in SEC history to win all six in the same season
  • Unanimous All-America First-Team honoree by the AP, Sporting News, USBWA, and NABC
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award winner for the nation’s best center
  • NABC’s Pete Newell Big Man of the Year
  • SEC Player of the Year
  • First-Team All-SEC by both the league’s coaches and media
  • Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist
  • All-SEC Defensive Team, as selected by the league’s coaches
  • Led the country in rebounding (15.1), offensive rebounds per game (5.3), and defensive rebounding percentage (34.6%); also ranked second in offensive rebounding percentage (19.4%)
  • Snared 515 rebounds on the season, topping any other Division I collegiate player – The mark ranks as the third-most in program history, and he is one of just three players to tally 500 or more
  • Became a 1,000-point collegiate scorer in the final game of the season
  • Set a UK single-season record with 28 double-doubles
  • Was the first player to average at least 15 points and at least 15 rebounds per game since Drake’s Lewis Lloyd and Alcorn State’s Larry Smith did so in 1979-80
  • First major-conference player to average 15-15 since UCLA’s Bill Walton in 1972-73
  • First UK player to tally those numbers since Bob Burrow in 1954-55
  • Finished the season as the only major-conference player averaging at least 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game
  • Corralled 10 or more rebounds in all but two games
  • Finished the season with program records of 21 straight double-figure rebounding efforts and 16 straight double-doubles
  • One of only two players (Anthony Davis being the other, in 1978-79) in program history to lead the team in points per game (17.4), rebounds per game (15.1), steals per game (1.8), blocks per game (1.6), and field-goal percentage (60.6%) with a minimum of 130 attempts
  • Set a Rupp Arena record with 28 rebounds against Western Kentucky
  • Had more rebounds than the Hilltoppers’ entire team
  • Is tied for the sixth-most rebounds in UK history and the most for a Wildcat in a regulation-length game in more than 52 years
  • His rebounds were the most in Division I basketball except when Kendall Gray from Delaware State had 30 in 2015
  • Finished the season responsible for 37.8% of the team’s total rebounds. If you take away team rebounds that number jumped to 41.2%
  • Had 80 rebounds through the first five games of the season, which was the most by an SEC player in any five-game span since 2016
  • Was the first UK player with six games of at least 20 points and at least 15 rebounds since Jim Andrews in 1972-73
  • Became the first player in program history to tally at least 30 points and snare at least 15 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game against Saint Peter’s
  • Also played in a career-high 43 minutes
  • Had 27 points and 14 rebounds at Florida
  • Scored 30 points and had 18 rebounds at Arkansas, becoming the first UK player to achieve those numbers on the road against an SEC foe since Dan Issel in 1970
  • Had 17 points, 16 boards, and three blocks in the come-from-behind win at home vs. LSU
  • Scored 21 points and added 14 rebounds at home vs. Alabama
  • Tallied 27 points and 19 rebounds at home against Florida
  • Produced 17 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks at Kansas
  • Had 21 points and 22 rebounds in the overtime win over Mississippi State
  • Logged 30 points and 13 rebounds at Vanderbilt
  • Scored 29 points and contributed 17 rebounds vs. Georgia
  • Posted 13 points and 20 rebounds in the SEC opener vs. Missouri
  • Had 14 points and the record-breaking 28 boards against Western Kentucky and combined for 48 boards in a two-game stretch
  • Had three straight games of 20 or more points against Central Michigan, Southern and at Notre Dame
  • Logged 24 points and 16 boards with three blocks vs. Mount St. Mary’s
  • Had 14 points and 20 boards in his UK home opener vs. Robert Morris
  • Scored 17 points and had 20 rebounds in the Champions Classic against Duke
  • The rebounds were the most in the history of the event and the most ever in a UK debut

As a Senior…

  • Was a unanimous second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, USBWA, NABC, and The Sporting News
  • Became just the ninth player in program history to earn unanimous All-America accolades in two seasons, a recognition that wasn’t accomplished since Kenny Walker in 1985, ‘86
  • First-Team All-Southeastern Conference selection by both the league’s coaches and media
  • With 952 career rebounds at Kentucky, he is sixth all-time in program history
  • The 952 boards are the most through two seasons in UK allure
  • Had 20 double-doubles as a senior and finished his career tied for second in career double-doubles (48)
  • Became the 61st player in program history to top 1,000 career points and ranks 48th with 1,117 scored as a Wildcat
  • Only Bill Spivey (1,213) scored more points in two seasons than Tshiebwe
  • Ranks in a tie for 15th for the most career rebounds (1,317) in a college career since 1985-86
  • With 437 rebounds, he set a UK single-season record for total rebounds as a senior
  • Led the nation in rebounds per game (13.7) for the second-consecutive year
  • He averaged 12.3 rebounds per game for the entirety of his career, becoming just the third player since 1996-97 to average at least 12.0 rebounds per game for a career
  • Had seven 20-point, 15-rebound games
  • Amassed eight games of at least 20 rebounds in his UK career, all UK players combined since 1970-71 tallied seven other 20-rebound games
  • Had two 20-20 games and three as a UK player
  • Set a UK NCAA Tournament record with 25 rebounds against Providence, bettering a record that had stood since 1956
  • It was the most for any player in the NCAA Tournament since 1977
  • Averaged a team-high 16.5 points per game
  • Logged 23 double-figure scoring efforts and 25 double-figure rebounding games
  • Ranked second on the team in blocks per game (1.0) and steals per game (1.6)
  • Scored 25 points and added 18 rebounds against Kansas State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
  • Had 21 points and 20 rebounds on Senior Night against Vanderbilt
  • Logged 22 points and 17 boards in a win over Auburn at home
  • Scored 25 points on 12 of 13 (92.3%) from the field at Florida
  • It was the best single-game field-goal percentage with that many attempts in program history
  • Had a career-high 37 points and 24 rebounds in a home victory over Georgia
  • He was the first UK player to have a 35-point, 20-rebound game since 1976 and it was just the fifth such game in Kentucky history
  • Logged 28 points and 12 boards in a win over Yale
  • Scored 20 points and hauled in 15 boards at Gonzaga
  • Began the season with 22 points and 18 rebounds in the Champions Classic vs. Michigan State

Oscar finishes his career 6th on UK’s Career Rebounding List with 952 rebounds in 66 total games played at Kentucky —  just under 100 boards shy of Dan Issel’s all-time record 1,078 rebounds in 83 games.

Oscar goes down as a Wildcat Legend and should certainly be the first Cal-Era player to have his jersey immortalized in the rafters.

From the entire Big Blue Nation…

Thank You, Big O!