Thiero out to prove he belongs at Kentucky

Published 2:45 pm Monday, July 11, 2022

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Adou Thiero is the lowest rated and least known newcomer on John Calipari’s roster this season and knew he had to show quickly that he belonged at Kentucky.

“I’m surprised by how my teammates are very consistent with their shot. Everyone is fast. Everyone talks on defense,” 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 will help me a lot. They’ll bring out the best in me so I just have to bring it every day.”

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He had gone against Kentucky senior center Oscar Tshiebwe once in a high school scrimmage game and it was a turning point in Thiero’s career at Quaker Valley (Pa.).

“I got my starting position after playing them because nobody wanted to challenge Oscar and go get a rebound. So I went in and got a rebound over him,” Thiero said. “That’s when my coaches realized, ‘He wants it. He’s going to play hard every second.’”

Tshiebwe sort of remembered the scrimmage and Thiero getting a rebound a little differently.

“He had a lot of confidence. He was playing good,” Tshiebwe said about Thiero. “I was doing my thing. He was just a kid. He has got better and he is in a program where everybody is working.”

So how did a freshman guard get a rebound against Tshiebwe?

“Some rebounds just come in your hands. The ball just jumps in your hands and you can say, ‘I got a rebound against Oscar,’ ” Tshiebwe laughed and said. “I’ll let them get those. I tell them, ‘You can get many rebounds in practice, but you’re not getting those in the game.’ ”