Polished swingman who went from playing out of necessity as a freshman at Kansas to being the best player on a national championship team. Has a clear role at the next level with his prototypical physical tools and spot up shooting ability.
About Ochai Agbaji
Ochai Agbaji is a dangerous off-ball scoring threat with an NBA-ready frame who improved over his four seasons in Kansas culminating in NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors. Born in Milwaukee where both of his parents played at UWM, Agbaji flew under the radar throughout his time at Oak Park High School (MO), only gaining steam as a senior to finish his season ranked among the top consensus top-200 prospects in the high school class of 2018. Planning to redshirt his freshman year at Kansas, Agbaji’s career took a turn after a series of personnel losses thrust him into significant minutes a few weeks into the year. Immediately exceeding expectations and flashing significant upside, the athletic wing finished that season averaging 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but has made noticeable strides with his skill level in each of his four collegiate seasons.
After declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft following his junior year and attending the NBA Draft Combine before returning to school, Agbaji faced steep expectations in his fourth year under head coach Bill Self. Finishing the season averaging 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6 assists per game while shooting 41% from beyond the arc, Agbaji garnered Big XII Player of the Year and Consensus First-Team All-American honors as he led the Jayhawks to their first NCAA championship since 2008.
• Measured at 6-foot-5.75 in shoes with a 217-pound frame and a 6-foot-10.25 wingspan at the 2022 NBA Combine, Agbaji has prototypical size for an NBA small forward to go along with very good all-around athleticism.
• Playing primarily off the ball throughout his four seasons at Kansas but getting more opportunities to create off the dribble as a senior than he did in the past, Agbaji had a very efficient offensive season as the Jayhawks’ first option. Making major strides with his jump shot as a junior, he turned the corner with his aggressiveness as a senior hunting perimeter looks, relocating on the perimeter and rising into pull-ups decisively. He proved much more reliable off the catch than off the dribble, but was effective in midrange spots for stretches. More of a lob threat and lane filler than a shifty slasher, the 22-year-old scores very opportunistically around the rim. While he still has some room to improve as a ball handler and decision-maker, his growth as a shot-maker and prowess off the ball gives him a clear role at the next level.
• Contributing as a freshman with his energy and length guarding multiple positions on the defensive end, Agbaji has had no shortage of impressive nights guarding one-on-one and chasing opposing shooters over his four collegiate seasons. He still has room to be more consistent off the ball, but did a nice job maintaining his effort level as his role evolved over time.
• Playing both on and off the ball as a senior while showing improved accuracy and versatility as a jump shooter, Agbaji filled a key role for Kansas on the offensive end. More aggressive looking for his own shot than he was in the past, he had an efficient season while balancing his developing floor game and terrific consistency as a spot up shooter.
• Making set shots at a strong rate and finishing lobs impressively cutting backdoor, Agbaji was one of the most complete off ball weapons in college basketball last season. Averaging 1.27 points per catch and shoot jump shot [94th percentile], he proved very reliable in spot up situations all season but was a threat to heat up on the move on his best nights getting more chances to rise up off of screens and hand offs as a senior.
• Averaging 1.45 points per shot around the rim in the half court [94th percentile], Agbaji’s athleticism stood out when he could get a runway to the rim and with how consistently he filled lanes in transition. Able to play way above the rim in space, he was the target of both designed lobs and a consistent threat to cut backdoor catching opposing defenders sleeping.
• More powerful than shifty or creative with the ball, Agbaji did not put a lot of pressure on the rim off the dribble last season leaning on his pull-up jumper. Scoring 0.77 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [51st percentile], he found mixed results navigating the midrange and lacked fluidity on some attempts but scored in bunches when he found a rhythm off the dribble. Similarly, he did a better job passing on the move in some spots than others as his floor game is still evolving.
• Going from being a roleplayer only out of necessity to the leading scorer on an NCAA championship team playing the top schedule in college basketball, Agbaji’s rise to prominence was a memorable one.
• Possessing a strong combination of length, quickness, and strength, Agbaji has a nice base of tools to work with defensively and no shortage of big game experience. He was not immune to lapses off the ball as a senior, but allowed only 0.63 points per isolation possession [69th percentile] while doing a nice job fighting over screens doing good work at the point of attack.
• Making some very athletic plays, chipping in as a rim protector and on the glass, Agbaji fills in a lot of blanks on the defensive end in his best moments but has room to apply his physicality around the rim more consistently as he transitions to the next level.
— Profile by Synergy Sports