Adou Thiero is the lowest-rated and least-known newcomer to John Calipari’s roster this season and knew he had to show he belonged in Kentucky fast.
“I’m surprised how consistent my teammates are in their shooting. Everyone is fast. Everyone talks about defence,” Thiero said. “I didn’t really play against people like that (in high school), but it’s a good thing to see now.
“I think it’s going to help me a lot. They’ll bring out the best in me, so I just have to bring it every day.
He had faced Kentucky senior center Oscar Tshiebwe once in a high school scrimmage match and it was a turning point in Thiero’s career in Quaker Valley (Pennsylvania).
“I got my starting position after playing them because nobody wanted to challenge Oscar and go for a rebound. So I came in and got a rebound on him,” Thiero said. “That’s when my coaches realized, ‘He wants it. He will play hard every second.
Tshiebwe kind of remembered the scrum and Thiero picked up a rebound a little differently.
“He had a lot of confidence. He was playing well,” Tshiebwe said of Thiero. “I was doing my thing. He was just a child. He has improved and he is in a program where everyone is working.
So how did a freshman guard get a rebound against Tshiebwe?
“Some rebounds just come through your hands. The ball just jumps into your hands and you can say, ‘I had a rebound against Oscar’,” Tshiebwe said with a laugh. “I’ll let them get them. I tell them, “You can get a lot of rebounds in practice, but you don’t get any in the game.” ”