Three key players helped Kentucky dominate Game 2 of the Bah-Mizrahia Classic: Chris Livingston, Sahvir Wheeler, and Oscar Tschiebwe. While they all played a crucial role in the win, a few key players stood out for me. Let’s examine each one and why they stand out. Despite his small size, Tshiebwe is a tremendous presence on the glass. He nearly tied the Rupp Arena record of 20 rebounds against Western Kentucky. The previous record was held by Shaquille O’Neal.
Toppin and Wheeler, a pair of Georgia transfers, have exploded off the bench in the last few games. Wheeler scored 14 points and had 10 assists for UK. Sahvir is one of the fastest players in college basketball and is explosive in transition. He’s also fun to watch when he’s playing downhill. Kentucky’s offense is well-rounded and is led by Sahvir Wheeler and Oscar Tschiebwe.
The Wildcats outscored Tec de Monterrey 60-12 in the paint. They shot 29-of-31 (93.5%) from behind the rim. Oscar Tschiebwe had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds in just under 23 minutes. The Wildcats forced 19 turnovers and had a 69.6 percent offensive rebounding rate.
The Wildcats’ post game was outstanding as seven players scored in double figures. Chris Livingston led with 14 points, while Jacob Toppin added 12 points and ten rebounds. Chris Livingston, a sophomore, made five of six shots and had 10 rebounds. Oscar Tschiebwe added 10 points and ten rebounds. Chris Livingston also had five assists and four steals.
The Cats outscored the Dominicans by almost 20 points in the first half. UK was 11-26 from long range, but converted on 13-of-14 free throws. Oscar Tschiebwe led all scorers with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Chris Livingston led the Wildcats in rebounding with six, while Oscar Tschiebwe led with 14. A combined 10 points and 14 boards were a season high for Tschiebwe.
Tshiebwe and his Kentucky teammates combined for 16 of the team’s 36 points in the paint during the first half and combined for 11 rebounds. The Wildcats finished with 65 rebounds to Tec’s 22 in the first half. Tshiebwe finished with 10 rebounds and was one rebound shy of a double-double, putting Kentucky up a double-digit lead with 3 minutes remaining.
Tshiebwe has been a force on the glass this season, setting multiple records in the Champions Classic and in his UK debut. Tshiebwe is the strongest player on the team, according to UK Athletics coach Wade Welsh. Tshiebwe’s performance against Western Kentucky has also led to a new school record, breaking the previous UK record of 20 rebounds. It was previously held by Shaquille O’Neal, who had 21 rebounds in Rupp Arena.
The Oscar Tshiebwe Kentucky basketball team is dominated by a new star: a former West Virginia transfer. The big man averages 17.0 points and 15.1 rebounds per game while weighing 255 pounds. His physical presence is overwhelming, requiring opposing teams to triple-team him. He has grabbed nearly 500 rebounds this season. His performance and the Kentucky basketball team’s title bid have attracted the attention of many a player, including NBA prospect Jared Lett.
The freshman forward was recruited from West Virginia despite the fact he was not eligible for the rest of the 9-16 season. Oscar Tshiebwe made his presence known in his first game, and he and his teammates have taken it upon themselves to show him how much they value him. Kentucky’s tying game ended in a 76-62 win. Despite the loss, the team continues to build upon its dominance.