LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky says former West Virginia forward Oscar Tshiebwe has transferred to the program and will be eligible after sitting out next season per NCAA transfer rules.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore from Congo with a 7-5 wingspan left the Mountaineers’ program on Jan. 1 for personal reasons. A preseason All-Big 12 Conference selection, Tshiebwe averaged 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 10 games this season for WVU. As a freshman he averaged a team-high 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds while starting all 31 games.

Kentucky coach John Calipari acknowledged in a release Thursday night that he recruited Tshiebwe two years ago and “fell in love” with his effort, energy and desire to improve. The coach added, “There is no question his time at West Virginia was well spent playing for a terrific coach and friend in Bob Huggins.”

Tshiebwe said he looks forward to practicing immediately with Kentucky and called it “the perfect place for me.”

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