JayhawkSlant - Player Profile: Senior Guard Ochai Agbaji
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Player Profile: Senior Guard Ochai Agbaji

Who: Ochai Agbaji

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 215

Position: Guard

Class: 2018 (Senior)

Ranking: No. 145

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.

High School: Oak Park HS

Why Kansas: It wasn't until late in his high school career that Ochai Agbaji, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard from Kansas City, Mo., caught the attention of Bill Self and his staff. However, once assistant coach Norm Roberts locked in on Agbaji, there wasn't much, if anything at all, that the other programs involved in his recruitment could do overtake Kansas. In all, Agbaji received scholarship offers from the likes of Colorado State, Fresno State, Loyola (IL), Nebraska, New Orleans, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas A&M, UMKC, Wisconsin, and others. With a scholarship offer from Kansas in hand, Agbaji committed to Self and the Jayhawks on February 8, 2018.

The Skinny: During his time at Oak Park High School, Agbaji was the recipient of the DiRenna Award, the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association (GKCBCA) player of the year in 2017-18.

Agbaji was the Kansas City Star All-Metro Player of the Year in 2017-18 and participated for the Missouri team in the GKCBCA All-Star Game. Additionally, Agbaji guided Oak Park High School to a 23-3 record in 2017-18 and its conference title.

Agabji, a former three-star prospect, averaged 27.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game his senior season for coach Brennan Scanlon. During his junior year, he averaged 23.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for Oak Park.

Following the end of last season, Agbaji entered the 2021 NBA Draft but ultimately decided to return to Kansas for his senior year. Heading into his senior year, he's working on 77 consecutive career starts in 83 games played. Furthermore, Agbaji is a two-time All-Big 12 and Academic All-Big 12 selection his sophomore and junior seasons.

For his career, Agbaji has scored 920 career points is tied for 18th in KU career three-point field goals made (147), and is 16th in career three-point field goals attempted (418).

Agbaji was featured as a Big 12 Champion for Life in 2019-20.

Awards: DiRenna Award, the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association (GKCBCA) player of the year in 2017-18

The Kansas City Star All-Metro Player of the Year in 2017-18

USBWA All-District VI [2021]

NABC All-District 8 Second Team [2021]

Academic All-Big 12 First Team [2021]

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention [2021]

Academic All-Big 12 First Team [2021]

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention [2020]

Academic All-Big 12 Second Team [2020]

Big 12 Newcomer of the Week [2.4.2019]

Bill Self on Ochai Agbaji: "Coach (Norm) Roberts went to watch Ochai play a couple of times and was really impressed," Self said. "I had a chance to go see him in late January and thought he was terrific. I love his demeanor. He has a maturity about himself. He has a terrific frame and is an explosive athlete who can shoot. When we offered Ochai a scholarship, he jumped on it and that also excited us because you want to coach guys who are excited to be in your program. I see him as a Travis Releford type. A guy that comes in and has the body to be a major college player. Ochai could be a high major defender early in his career and his skill set is such that I think he could be an immediate impact player for us. We're fortunate to get a player locally of this talent who possesses all the intangibles you want in a student-athlete."

What to expect: In 83 career games, Ochai Agbaji has averaged 11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. During that same stretch, he's connected on 42.8 percent of his field goals, 35.2 percent of his shots from behind the arc, and 68.6 percent of his free throws. Last season, in 30 games played, Agbaji averaged 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He shot 42.0 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from behind the arc, and 68.9 percent from the free-throw line. Agbaji, without question, is going to play a ton of minutes this season and will be presented every opportunity to score a lot of points. A returning starter, Agbaji will once again find himself back in the starting rotation and is poised to have a monster season for Kansas. He had the opportunity to leave Kansas in order to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing professionally but ultimately decided to return for one final season. Kansas, without question, is a legitimate National Championship contender. However, if the Jayhawks are going to emerge as the last team standing on the first Monday night in April, Agbaji will need to have a monster season for Self's squad. He intends to do just that.