Oscar Tshiebwe, the former five-star recruit, has “stepped away” from the West Virginia Mountaineers basketball program, according to a press release issued by the school. The university issued a press release Friday morning saying the sophomore has stepped away ”due to personal reasons.” It did not rule out the possibility of a return.
“Oscar has our full support, and we certainly wish him the best during this time,” head coach Bob Huggins said.
Tshiebwe, a sophomore, has seen his playing time reduced from last years 23 minutes a game to 19 minutes a game this season and has struggled with both effort and outcomes this season. Last season, the 6’-9”, 260 pound forward averaged nearly a double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds a game in his freshman season. This year, those numbers have dropped to 7.8 points and 8.5 boards. In his latest game, Tshiebwe recorded his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds against the overmatched Northeastern Huskies.
Huggs on Oscar Tshiebwe: “Did it catch me by surprise? No. What are we going to do moving forward? Win more games. We’ll be able to spread the floor more and give guys more room to make shots.”— Schuyler Callihan (@Callihan_) January 1, 2021
Update: Is there a chance Oscar returns?— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) January 1, 2021
"Absolutely not," Bob Huggins said. https://t.co/MHqk4Irp8V
Huggins: "Jalen Bridges was one of our top 3-4 guys in practice a year ago. He rebounded it, he made shots. If he can play the way he did at the end a year ago, we got a heck of a player now."— Anjelica Trinone (@AnjelicaTrinone) January 1, 2021
Following a Zoom call, Bob Huggins has slammed the door on Tshiebwe returning to the Mountaineers. It appears as if Jalen Bridges will be in line for more playing time and Huggins will now adjust his offensive sets to the players he has. Stay tuned.