Oscar Tshiebwe Set to Become Only Third Player in UK History with 500 Rebounds


Only seven UK players have ever had 400 or more rebounds in a single season and Oscar Tshiebwe is one of them. After pulling off 18 rebounds against Arkansas, he has 445 this season — fourth best on the list and now ahead of Frank Ramsey (434), Julius Randle (417) and Anthony Davis (415).If all goes as expected, he should pass Bob Burrow (459) during UK’s two games this week.Tshiebwe should become only the third UK player ever to reach 500 rebounds if the Cats perform as expected in postseason play. Bill Spivey (567) and Cliff Hagan (528) are one-two on UK’s all-time single-season rebounding list.Davis needed 40 games to get his 415 rebounds. Randle needed 40 to reach 417. Tshiebwe has now played in 29 games.Going into this week he has 11 straight double-doubles, one short of the school record 12 in a row set by Dan Issel during the 1969-70 season. He has also scored in double figures 11 straight games and 16 straight games with 10 or more rebounds.“He’s always in the gym,” Kentucky point guard Sahvir Wheeler said. “He’s always looking to get better and takes constructive criticism, even when the coaches are a little harder on him.“He always does it with a smile on his face. For us to see him perform the way he does, you’ve got to want him to be player of the year.”What makes this even better is that Tshiebwe is having so much fun with his teammates.“We bring joy and happiness with how we love each other,” he said. “We care a lot about each other. We are not selfish. We share the ball.“I just love being part of this team. I am motivated that everybody plays so hard. For us it is not about individuals but it is about the team. We got to play as a team to accomplish what we are looking to do.”Tshiebwe is averaging 5.3 offensive rebounds per game and Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said he showcases his “incredible energy” in the open court.“When he runs in transition offense, it’s like he’s in a track meet. He’s probably the best rim-runner that I’ve seen in college basketball,” Musselman said.  “He’s incredibly explosive as an offensive rebounder.You’re going to have to hold your ground, too. You’re going to need to have a wide base when you box out. If you’re not a physical block-out player, and you skinny block out, you’re going to get pushed underneath the rim, and he’s going to grab the ball and dunk it.”* * *