Oscar Tshiebwe Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) flexes after scoring over Kansas during the second half of Saturday’s game inside Allen Fieldhouse. Oscar Tshiebwe Kansas

While the Kentucky Wildcats’ season didn’t end as hoped, there’s new hope for the 2022-2023 college basketball season with the news that Oscar Tshiebwe will return for his senior season.

Tshiebwe, the consensus men’s basketball national player of the year, made the announcement on SportsCenter. This makes him the first Wooden Award winner since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough in 2008 to return to college the following year.

A big part of the reason why the Kentucky standout is willing to return? NIL, of course. Though the Congo-born player’s status as a foreign student complicates certain factors, he’s still expected to generate some income based on the new rules.

“As a student with an F1 visa, I can’t even talk about it,” Tshiebwe said on SportsCenter. “It’s a little bit tricky.”

Whatever the reason for his return, Oscar reaffirms Kentucky’s spot near the college basketball world next season. After transferring from West Virginia during the 2020-21 season, Tshiebwe garnered 28 double-doubles, including 16 straight, and averaged 17.4 points and 15.1 rebounds per game. Not only did he become the first Wildcats player to win the Wooden Award since Anthony Davis but he also earned the Naismith Player of the Year, NABC National Player of the Year, Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, and SEC Player of the Year awards.

Presuming that Keion Brooks Jr. and Sahvir Wheeler also return to join Tshiebwe, not to mention the arrival of five-star recruits Chris Livingston and Cason Wallace, Kentucky will once again be one of the favorites to win the national title next season.

In the meantime, the news of Tshiebwe’s return sparked a lot of reactions across college basketball.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.