Morgantown, West Virginia – As the West Virginia Mountaineers 11-1 to start the season, Bob Huggins is proud to announce that his team understands there is no need for Oscar Tshiebwe.
“We lost the alleged McDonald’s All-American because he didn’t like the fact that we made him do the hard things,” Huggins said of Tshiebwe. “So we’re fine.”
As it turned out, the Mountaineers looked like they weren’t doing well at all.
After coming from a losing streak, West Virginia finished the season 16-17 overall and in the final area of the Conference Big 12 with a score of 4-14. In addition, the Mountaineers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the entire country.
On the other hand, Oscar Tshiebwe, the supposed McDonald’s All-American that Huggins cited, went on to lead his Kentucky Wildcats to a 26-7 record when he generally 17.0 points and 15.1 rebounds the country’s best per game. In addition, Tshiebwe has been named the SEC’s Player of the Year and will almost certainly win the John Wooden Award for National Basketball Player of the Year.
Come to think of it, Huggins’ comments about Tshiebwe were both embarrassing and wrong.
To begin with, Oscar Tshiebwe is not the alleged McDonald’s All-American. He’s a McDonald’s All-American! How dare Huggins confiscate the great honor he had earned from him.
Second, have you ever heard a college coach (or any coach for that matter!) say anything negative about an ex-player? This is so unheard of! Coaches wish their former players all the best and continue what they have. Not Huggins. He took time to laugh about how he didn’t need Tshiebwe, that Tshiebwe didn’t work hard enough, that Tshiebwe wasn’t as good as others thought, etc.
And after that Oscar Tshiebwe came out and proved that he’s not only good, he’s the best player in the whole country.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a West Virginia lover and make Tshiebwe a lazy, crying baby, prima donna, but the truth is he’s not one of those things. He was the best recruit Bob Huggins ever (or ever will) at West Virginia University.
When Oscar Tshiebwe was asked about Huggins’ comments on him, rather than stooping down to Huggins’ level, he took the high ground and praised his former head coach.
“He’s a great coach,” Tshiebwe said of Huggins. “And I understand I’m always working harder, and I’m always trying to be better. Just because things aren’t going well doesn’t mean you’re quitting. I can’t say anything about Bob Huggins, who is a great coach, who coached me and did everything for me and tried to help me.”
It is unfortunate that a 21 year old with limited English is more articulate and professional than a 68 year old with 40 years of experience in this sport.