Big 12 Basketball

Ochai Agbaji Validates Return to Kansas With Opening Game

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Michigan State

Ochai Agbaji’s career-high 29 points in Kansas’ win over Michigan State seemed to validate his decision to return to school, if an article by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie is any indication.

Vecenie writes about college basketball and the NBA for The Athletic and traditionally does the site’s NBA Mock Drafts. On Vecenie’s initial draft board for the 2022 NBA Draft, he had Agbaji at No. 35.

Vecenie hasn’t published a new draft board or mock draft yet, but he wrote on Thursday that he’ll likely have Agbaji as a first-round prospect on his next board or mock draft.  


Why? Well, as Vecenie put it:

‘Basically, this game was everything that Agbaji had potential to bring to the table. We’ve never seen this kind of aggression from him. We know he can shoot, and we know he can finish above the rim. It’s the glue off the bounce that’s been missing, and it looks like he has that now. On top of it, he’s a terrific defensive player on the wing that shuts down opposing players and creates steals by jumping passing lanes.’

Vecenie’s write-up on Agbaji’s performance was extensive. But he also revealed what scouts were saying when Agbaji went through the draft process last summer. Agbaji was actually one of the last players invited to the NBA Scouting Combine. Vecenie also noted that while the trainers that worked with Agbaji during the summer told him that the Jayhawks’ game had expanded, that didn’t show during the Combine.

Well, it’s showing now, and Agbaji may be in line to have one of the best season’s in college basketball, if he can take what he did on Tuesday, bottle it up, and put it together every game.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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