Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe Named 2022 Wooden Award Winner

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2022

Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky speaks as he is introduced as The Associated Press men's basketball player of the year, in New Orleans, Friday, April 1, 2022. The 6-foot-9, 255-pound junior received 46 of 60 votes from a national media panel. Wisconsin's Johnny Davis was second with 10 votes. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Oscar Tshiebwe completed his sweep of major men's college basketball player awards Tuesday, winning the 2022 John R. Wooden Award.

The Kentucky big man defeated fellow finalists Ochai Agbaji, Johnny Davis, Keegan Murray, Drew Timme to hold every individual honor in the sport. He previously won the Naismith, Associated Press, Oscar Robertson, NABC and Sporting News awards.

Kentucky Men’s Basketball @KentuckyMBB

UNANIMOUS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR<br><br>For the first time in Kentucky men's basketball history, a Wildcat has won all six NCAA-recognized national player of the year awards.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OscarWorthy?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OscarWorthy</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/Oscartshiebwe34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Oscartshiebwe34</a> <a href="https://t.co/9M39bBsorY">pic.twitter.com/9M39bBsorY</a>

Tshiebwe joins Anthony Davis as the second Kentucky player to take home the Wooden Award. 

“It is amazing to be join somebody like Anthony Davis,” Tshiebwe said after winning AP honors. “And that gives me confidence and gives me more help for my future, too, for what I’m trying to do and what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m just putting God first because God knows what I need, and he has great plans for me.”

The 6'9" junior averaged 17.4 points and an NCAA-high 15.1 rebounds per game. His rebounding total was the highest of any player in Division I since 1978-79. While Kentucky's NCAA tournament hopes ended in a first-round upset, it wasn't for a lack of effort from Tshiebwe, who put up 30 points and 16 rebounds.

Tshiebwe has been non-committal about the prospect of returning to Kentucky for his senior season. ESPN's Jonathan Givony has Tshiebwe ranked as the No. 42 player in the 2022 NBA draft class, making him no lock to be selected in June's draft. 

“That is a great question,” Tshiebwe told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. “I’ve been praying about it and I know I have a big decision to make. It would be great to be in the blue again because I love the place, I love the fans, I love everything about Kentucky. But whatever decision God tells me to do that is what I’m going to do.”

At this point, it's hard to envision Tshiebwe coming back—even if his draft stock isn't a surefire Round 1 status.