Ochai Agbaji is a part of our Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s Top 25 returning players countdown as we get closer to the 2021-22 college basketball season opener.
No. 2: Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas
Where he left off: Agbaji’s tremendous season was lost in the glut of great guard play in 2020-21. So he only earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection. But he was one of the Big 12’s best 3-point shooters last season, averaging 2.6 per game, making three or more 3-pointers in 15 games and finishing fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (37.7).
He led Kansas in scoring and was No. 12 in the Big 12 (14.1 ppg). He came on when the lights were brightest, scoring a career-high 26 points against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament. He even had a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds against West Virginia.
Where he’s headed: Agbaji is one of the best returning guards in the conference, and his career is tracking similar to that of Devontae Graham, who parlayed a four-year Kansas career into a solid start in the NBA. Agbaji might be a better 3-point shooter than Graham. Agbaji has also developed into a guard that plays quality defense, can run the offense and hit dagger 3-pointers when needed. He did declare for the NBA Draft but returned after getting his report card when it was clear he would likely only be a second-round pick. A high-quality 2021-22 season allows him to, perhaps, move into the first round.
Top 25 criteria: ONLY players that played in the Big 12 last season were considered. Rankings are based on where players left off at the end of last season, as we are not able to make assumptions about the improvements players have made this offseason.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands | No. 11 Sean McNeil | No. 10 Taz Sherman | No. 9 Matthew Mayer | No. 8 Jalen Wilson | No. 7 Courtney Ramey | No. 6 Mike Miles | No. 5 Avery Anderson III | No. 4 David McCormack | No. 3 Terrence Shannon Jr.
Challenge Series: Big 12-Big East Battle
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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