Oscar Tshiebwe named Sporting News All-American: Is National Player of the Year next?

Kentucky basketball forward Oscar Tshiebwe. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky basketball forward Oscar Tshiebwe. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kentucky basketball star Oscar Tshiebwe is officially an All-American. The next box to check is National Player of the Year.

The Kentucky Wildcats are heading the SEC Tournament with an All-American in their ranks.

Center Oscar Tshiebwe earned the title on Monday thanks to a unanimous selection to the Sporting News All-American team for 2021-22.

He was the only unanimous pick after an outstanding debut season in Lexington.

Oscar Tshiebwe named Sporting News All-American

Voters recognized Tshiebwe for his massive contribution to the Wildcats this season, particularly on the boards.

He leads the NCAA with 15.3 rebounds per game and puts him atop the leaderboard going back to 1985.

As an offensive weapon, he’s been incredibly efficient. His field goal percentage of .606 ranks 10th nationally while his PER is second at 35.5. He owns the largest Win Shares in the NCAA.

It’s safe to say more All-American honors will be coming his way. But will something even bigger follow?

Is Oscar Tshiebwe the National Player of the Year?

Tshiebwe already has the SEC Player of the Year Award under his belt. And several publications have already dubbed him the National Player of the Year, including College Hoops Today.

It seems like a foregone conclusion that one of the major awards like the Naismith College Player of the Year or the AP College Basketball Player of the Year will land in his trophy case as well.

The individual honors are great but Tshiebwe has said his focus is on winning the ultimate prize: a national championship.

This will be his first taste of the NCAA Tournament. March Madness was canceled during his freshman season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Tshiebwe left West Virginia before the Mountaineers made a trip to the tournament.

His legend in Kentucky gets bigger by the day. We’ll see just how grand it can get.

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