The Illinois mens basketball coaching staff was scattered throughout the AAU scene last weekend. Majority were at the Nike EYBL event in Indianapolis, but Assistant Orlando Antigua was in Atlanta for the Adidas Gauntlet Series. His eyes set mostly on ITPS wildcat big man Oscar Tshiebwe.

Its a new name in Illinois circles, but his game has demanded attention from many good program’s of late. Virginia,West Virginia and Georgetown have already offered him and hes drawn interest from Indiana and kentucky. At nearly 6’10 and 235 pounds Oscar is a grown man at 17.

He has intrigued many with his natural shot blocking ability and knack for rebounding. He hasnt played competitive basketball for 4 year’s yet, Oscar is a plus athlete who gets off the floor well. Slowly but surely hes refining his offensive game and was the 4th leading scorer at the ATL Adidas Gauntlet event. I spoke to Oscar about his recruitment and developing his game rapidly as well as visit/Decision timelines.

In his words with Oscar Tshiebwe

After being a standout in Atlanta last weekend, Illinois offered Oscar. I asked if Illinois offering was something he would strongly consider. He told me “Yes, I do have high interest in Illinois. I talk to coach Antigua often, I like the academics and the style of play. I love to run and get up and down the court. I do plan on taking a visit before I make my decision later this fall.”

During our conversation he mentioned he is from Congo in Africa. And only played basketball for less than one year before moving to the United States in 2015. I asked what he felt his strengths were and what he wanted to improve having only played 4 years. Oscar said “Many believe I am only a defensive player. I cam do more than block and rebound. On my previous AAU Team (Team Loaded) They just wanted me to focus on being a stopper. That has driven me to make strides and show that I can make impacts on both sides of the ball. I have added some post moves and a jump shot. ITPS has really helped me improve in a short amount of time”

Oscar averaged 20 points per game and leads Adidas Gauntlet Series in blocks and rebounds at 11 and 4 respectively.

My last question was about visits and decision timeline also if he had any geographical preference. Oscar told me “I honestly don’t have any east coast preference. I will choose the best school for me regardless where it is. I have been to Pitt,UVA and West Virginia already on visits. Ill be taking some more this summer and will be deciding before my season starts in the fall. I plan to make Illinois one of those visits.”

Swami’s Take

I love Oscars film, even more so knowing he has barely played 4 years. I see why Antigua Loves this kid, high motor with big broad shoulders. West Virginia is thought to be the leader but he had high remarks for interest in Illinois. I expect many more offers to come Oscars way, and before its all said and done, he will be a top 100 National prospect. Orlando Antigua knows talent and has coached great talent.

Oscar knows that as well, he told me he wants to major in buisness and that running the floor is a big deal for college choice. Illinois has those three things in its favor. They have some catching up to do but this kid has elite upside in my opinion. 2019 is a big class for Illinois and I dont suggest anyone sleep on Oscar tshiebwe. He’s determined to wake you up

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