Not many freshmen have gotten as much attention in their first year with West Virginia men’s hoops than Oscar Tshiebwe, and for the most part, he has backed it up with his play.
He is still raw, and that shows up on the court from time to time. For instance, Tshiebwe played just 8 minutes in the Mountaineers’ win over Ohio State due to early foul trouble (however questionable those calls may have been). He has also struggled from the foul line (along with many of his teammates) making just 64.2 percent of his shots from the line.
Luckily for both Tshiebwe and his team, Bob Huggins says his prized freshman knows that he needs to grow and wants to do just that.
“He just wants to learn,” Huggins said. “He just wants to learn and continue to get better and he knows when it’s wrong.”
It can be difficult for young players to have up-and-down performances, but Huggins adds that he’s taking this season in stride. This was especially evident in the second half of their last win.
“He doesn’t pout about anything,” he said. “I don’t know if you saw, towards the end of the game when we kind of took control of the game, he’s on the bench dancing, happy, encouraging his teammates. He’s fine.”
There’s no question the talent is there with Tshiebwe. His dominating performance against Pitt just two games into his career landed him weekly honors from the Big 12, and he is still one of the top rebounders in the conference as the league slate approaches.
Having only been playing the sport since 2014, Huggins says that Tshiebwe recognizes that he has a lot of room to grow.
“He understands probably better than most that his background is not very good,” Huggins said, “and he’s got a lot to learn.”