Kentucky men's basketball senior Oscar Tshiebwe earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors on Monday after averaging 22 points and 20.5 rebounds in wins over Georgia and Texas A&M last week.
The award is the second weekly SEC honor for a Wildcat after Cason Wallace garnered SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Dec. 27. It is the third weekly conference honor of Tshiebwe's career after picking up two a season ago.
Tshiebwe put together a performance for the ages in the come-from-behind victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday, pouring in a career-best 37 points while grabbing 24 boards, before going for seven points and a game-high 17 boards in the win over Texas A&M on Saturday.
Some notes on Tshiebwe's performance against Georgia:
- The last Wildcat with a 35-point, 20-rebound game was Mike Phillips, who had 35-20 vs. LSU on Feb. 2, 1976
- It was the fifth 35-20 game in UK history, also Phillips (listed above), Dan Issel (36-29 vs. LSU on Feb. 22, 1969), Cotton Nash (34-20 vs. Tulane on Jan. 11, 1964) and Bill Spivey (40-34 vs. Xavier on Feb. 13, 1951)
- Per ESPN, Tshiebwe's 24 rebounds are the most for a Division I player with a 35-point game in the last 25 seasons
- Per ESPN, Tshiebwe's 24 rebounds are the most in a 35-point performance in the last 25 seasons. UNC's Brice Johnson had 23 in 2016, Oklahoma's Blake Griffin had 23 in 2009 and Texas' Kevin Durant had 23 in 2007
- Tshiebwe (24) and teammate Jacob Toppin (11) combined for more rebounds (35) than Georgia's entire team (31)
- He became just the third player in program history to have multiple games of at least 24 rebounds, joining Dan Issel and Cotton Nash as the only others to do so
- It is the fourth 30-point game of his career
- The 37-point game tied Malik Monk vs. Georgia (1/31/17) for most points in an SEC game and the third-most point in any contest in the Calipari era
- Tshiebwe's 37-point, 24-rebound game against Georgia was the fifth contest of his UK career with at least 22 points and 18 rebounds. He now has five of the eight games of 22 or more points and at least 18 rebounds by an SEC player in the last 10 seasons. No other player has more than one and the feat had not been accomplished since South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell did so against Alabama on Feb. 7, 2017
- Tshiebwe also has tallied four 20-point, 15-rebound games so far this season after seven a season ago. He has 11 of the 53 20-point, 15-rebound contests by SEC players in the last 10 seasons
- Tshiebwe has amassed six games of at least 20 rebounds in two seasons with the Cats. All UK players combined have totaled five other 20-rebound games since the 1973-74 season
Kentucky has dominated the weekly SEC awards with John Calipari at the helm. UK has won more weekly SEC honors (121) than any other school during the Calipari era, including 91 SEC Freshman of the Week awards and 30 SEC Player of the Week honors.
With a team-high 16.6 points per game and nation's best 14.0 rebounds per contest, Tshiebwe is one of two players nationally averaging more than 16 points and 13 rebounds per game (Zach Edey – Purdue). He is the only player in the country averaging at least 15 points, at least 13 rebounds, at least 1.5 steals and at least 1.0 blocks per game. Tshiebwe has registered a double-double in 39 of 51 career games for the Wildcats, ranking fourth all-time in program history.
Tshiebwe and the Wildcats travel to Nashville, Tennessee to take on Vanderbilt on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on SEC Network.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter's Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.