Oscar Tshiebwe On Pace for Historic Freshman Season
Star Mountaineer freshman Oscar Tshiebwe is one of the most impressive young players West Virginia has seen in recent years and is pushing to put his name in the record book before his first season is over.
Tshiebwe’s rebounding prowess has been touted since his early days of high school and that has quickly translated to the college game with an average of 9.5 boards per contest. Even more impressively, through the first 18 games of his collegiate career, the Congo native is pulling down 4.2 offensive rebounds per game.
On that pace, Tshiebwe is on a collision course with history as he is on pace to challenge the school’s single season offensive rebounds record set by Kevin Jones during his senior year in 2012.
Allow that to sink in.
Oscar Tshiebwe, a true freshman, is on track to possibly break a record set by Kevin Jones, a four-year starter who claimed the title during a final season in which he was named a Consensus Second Team All-American. That’s pretty good company to be in.
Over 33 games in 2012, Jones averaged just under 4.3 offensive boards per contest, good enough to top his own record set in 2010 and establish the record mark at 141. Through the Mountaineers’ first 18 games, Tshiebwe has hauled in 75 caroms off the offensive glass setting his per game pace just shy of Jones at the aforementioned 4.2. If his season rate were to hold up, the freshman would finish with 129 offensive rebounds in 33 games, good enough for third all-time.
This total would be by all means respectable and impressive, especially for a freshman. The fact that a player that young is even in the conversation to break a record set by the likes of Jones is almost inconceivable to a basketball fan.
However, since conference play began, Tshiebwe has increased his average to 4.5 second chances per game. This development has made his chances of breaking the record a legitimate possibility with 13 games left on the regular season slate.
Should he continue his conference average through the remainder of the regular season, Tshiebwe would head into the Big 12 tournament with 133 offensive rebounds in 31 games. Even if it is assumed that the Mountaineers lose in the first round of both the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, that pace would put the big man ahead of Jones in the record book with 142.
Oscar Tshiebwe is one of the most impressive and dynamic freshman phenoms that Mountaineer basketball has ever seen. Through outstanding physicality, natural talent, and hard work he has already developed himself into not only one of the best rebounders in the country but also one of the best in school history.
Tshiebwe will only continue to grow in both ability and legendary status as the season rolls on, with the latter getting a serious boost if he can break the single season offensive rebounds record set by Kevin Jones. With more and more standout performances from the freshman, the man they call "Big O" will look to find himself in the record book more than just once.