MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The rest of the EIN National all-stars sat on the bench before Sunday’s Scott Brown Classic at University High, but two stood under the basket having a friendly conversation about what lies ahead.
Miles “Deuce” McBride and Oscar Tshiebwe teamed up for the first time, and it won’t be the last as the West Virginia signees wrap up their high school all-star circuit before enrolling at West Virginia in June.
Tshiebwe came to Morgantown immediately after spending most of last week in Portland, Ore., at the NIKE Hoop Summit. He previously appeared in the McDonald’s All-American.
It has been a busy period for McBride also. He played in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game on Saturday before making the five-hour drive to West Virginia. He didn’t appear to have any lag, finishing with 20 points, seven rebounds and two assists in EIN’s 106-104 win over Mid-State Automotive.
With other future teammates Jordan McCabe, Emmitt Matthews and Taevon Horton in attendance, Tshiebwe was named MVP after a 35-point, 17-rebound performance. He also had three steals, three blocks and two assists.
As WVU’s first five-star recruit in over a decade, Tshiebwe said he is excited to get to campus — especially with the Mountaineers coming off a disappointing 15-21 season.
“I’m going to come up here to help with the team and I’m really going to try and stay focused,” he said. “I know this team is good — they started bad and ended good, but they need more energy and need somebody who can bring energy to the team.
“That’s me. I can bring all of that stuff by bringing energy, working hard and bringing the team together. I think next year, we’re going to be amazing.”
Tshiebwe said the WVU coaching staff wants him to play power forward, so he’s trying to expand his game from the inside out. He’s worked to improve his jump shot and 3-point shot because ever since he started playing organized basketball, coaches wanted him to play center since he was so much taller than everyone else.
Having more of an outside game is something Tshiebwe thinks can put him over the top.
“I’ve been in the gym shooting 300 shots a day, making 15-footers and some 3-point a little bit,” he said. “I’m getting better. Coach [Bob Huggins] showed me some power forward stuff that I need to work on. He said once I got to campus, he was going to work with me. I’ve always wanted to play forward but now I’m finally getting to.”
McBride, at 6-foot-2, will be asked to be versatile in the backcourt. The Mountaineers received a commitment from juco guard Sean McNeil on Sunday, but they are expected to add other juco and grad transfers. Including McNeil and McBride, WVU will have six scholarship guards next season as of now.
“They said I would play [point] and [shooting guard] — if they need me to bring the ball up, I can bring the ball up, or I can be the off guard if they need me to,” McBride said.
Regardless of where each plays, Tshiebwe is certain it will work out for both of them.