West Virginia's Oscar Tshiebwe sitting out for personal reasons

WVU scores off back-to-back steals (0:27)

Taz Sherman steals the pass and tosses an alley-oop to Oscar Tshiebwe. On the next Richmond possession, Miles McBride intercepts the pass and throws down the one-handed dunk. (0:27)

West Virginia sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe is stepping away from the Mountaineers' program due to personal reasons, the school announced Friday morning.

"Oscar has our full support, and we certainly wish him the best during this time," coach Bob Huggins said.

There had been rumors of a possible transfer for Tshiebwe, and while West Virginia's statement doesn't specify his next move, it's clear he won't be available for the Mountaineers in the near future. Tshiebwe's numbers have dipped since last season, but this is still a significant loss for No. 9 West Virginia.

Tshiebwe, a 6-foot-9 big man from Congo, was one of the best freshmen in the country last season, averaging 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds. He announced he was entering the NBA draft following the season, but withdrew his name and returned to Morgantown.

He's averaging 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds this season, and his minutes have fallen to fewer than 20 per game. Against Kansas late last month, Tshiebwe played just 18 minutes and totaled three points and five boards. He has still shown the potential to dominate in the paint, going for 11 points and 16 rebounds against VCU in November and 14 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes against Gonzaga in December.

A former top-50 recruit in the 2019 class, Tshiebwe was a projected second-round pick in ESPN's 2021 mock draft last the summer, but has since fallen out of the top 100 prospects.