Kentucky senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe has become UK’s first two-time All-America selection since Tayshaun Prince (2001, 02) after being named to The Sporting News All-America Third Team on Tuesday.
Tshiebwe led the Wildcats in scoring (16.4) and rebounds (13.1) for the second-consecutive season. He is the only player in the country averaging at least 15.0 points, 10.0 rebound, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in another banner season for the Wildcats.
The Sporting News is one of the four “major” NCAA-recognized All-America teams that the NCAA uses for its consensus All-America teams. The other three are the Associated Press, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Tshiebwe is the 12th player and the first to win multiple All-America distinctions by one of the four major organizations. He joins John Wall (2010), DeMarcus Cousins (2010), Anthony Davis (2012), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2012), Julius Randle (2014), Willie Cauley-Stein (2015), Karl-Anthony Towns (2015), Tyler Ulis (2016), Jamal Murray (2016), Malik Monk (2017) and PJ Washington (2019) in earning All-America distinction by either The Sporting News, AP, USBWA or the NABC. He is the 56th player overall in program history to earn All-America distinction.
Throughout program history and with Tshiebwe’s inclusion, 24 players have garnered All-America distinction in multiple seasons.
Tshiebwe is not only averaging a double-double but he’s breaking records in the process.
He is leading the country for the second straight year with 13.1 rebounds per contest to go along with a team-best 16.4 points per game. Among Tshiebwe’s Southeastern Conference-high 18 doubles, the senior has tallied six 20-point, 15-rebound contests this season after seven a season ago. He has 13 of the 55 such contests by SEC players in the last 10 seasons.
In just 63 games for Kentucky, Tshiebwe ranks eighth in program history with 894 rebounds. He has registered a double-double in 46 of those 63 games, ranking third in program history behind Dan Issel (64) and Cotton Nash (48).
He became the 61st player in program history to tally more than 1,000 points in a career and currently ranks 52nd overall with 1,065. Only two Wildcats (Rex Chapman – 1,073 and Bill Spivey – 1,213) have tallied more in just two seasons with the Cats.
Averaging 12.1 rebounds per game for his career, Tshiebwe joins Paul Millsap and Kenneth Faried as the only players since the 1996-97 season to average 12 rebounds per game for their career. He leads the country in rebounds per game and ranks second in total rebounds (379) – just six off the leader despite missing two games due to a knee procedure to begin the season.
In one of the best individual performances of the season, Tshiebwe poured in a career-high 37 points and added 24 rebounds in a home victory against Georgia on Jan. 17. It was the first 35-point, 20-rebound game for a Wildcat since 1976 and just the fifth such game in program history.
The Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo native has tallied double-figure points in each of UK’s last seven games and has produced four 20-point efforts in that stretch. He has generated 11 games with 15 or more rebounds this season.
Tshiebwe is racking up postseason honors by the day. The major honors he’s won or is a finalist for so far include:
- Sporting News Third-Team All-America
- All-SEC First Team (coaches)
- John R. Wooden Award finalist
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award late season list
- Naismith Player of the Year semifinalist
- Oscar Robertson Trophy late season watch list