Kansas basketball offers scholarship to KC wing Ochai Agbaji


Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Ochai Agbaji, who received a scholarship offer to play basketball at Kansas on Saturday afternoon, doesn’t match the profile of most KU recruits. He isn’t listed as a five-star prospect. He wasn’t on the shortlist of players considered for the McDonald’s All-American Game.

The offer from Kansas represents his meteoric rise in recruiting over the last few weeks. From Oak Park High in Kansas City (Mo.), Agbaji landed his first Power Five offer on Jan. 26 from Texas A&M. In a little more than a week, he’s added Wisconsin, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Kansas to his list of suitors.

Through 18 games of his senior year in high school, the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Agbaji is averaging 27.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists while leading Oak Park to a 16-2 record. He’s scored at least 24 points in his last seven games.

Agbaji went on an unofficial visit to Allen Fieldhouse during KU’s loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, watching from behind the team’s bench. He took two earlier visits in January, plus Bill Self and Larry Brown attended one of his recent high school games.

“I got to see their new locker room and all of that stuff,” Agbaji told Rivals before his offer from KU. “I got to meet Bill Self and talk with him. He's very interested in me and said they are looking for a wing like me who is strong, tough and can shoot the ball."

Before picking up a flurry of offers from Power Five programs, Agbaji had offers from Fresno State, Loyola (Chicago), Colorado State, Northern Iowa and New Orleans. He took an official visit to Colorado State in January.

Showcasing his athleticism in his senior season, he’s proven he can score from anywhere on the floor whether it’s above the rim, posting up with his back to the basket or powerful downhill drives. His sister, Orie, plays volleyball at Texas and their parents both played basketball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Jayhawks have already signed guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes, along with center David McCormack, in their 2018 recruiting class. Five-star guard Romeo Langford, from New Albany, Ind., has KU listed among his final three choices with Indiana and Vanderbilt.

Langford scored a career-high 63 points Thursday with six 3-pointers, prompting students to chant, “IU! IU!” He’s not expected to announce his decision until at least late March.

For Agbaji, it sounds like he’s enjoyed all of the recent attention that’s come with being one of the highest-rising prospects in the Midwest.

"I'm just looking for the school that's the right fit," Agbaji told Rivals more than a week ago. "A school that I can go in and be effective as a freshman right away. I'd probably be a better fit in uptempo but that doesn't really matter because I just want a good coach who can make me better as a player."

None by Ochai Agbaji


Aaron Paisley 1 year ago

Self has to be expecting someone to leave early to make this offer.

Gerry Butler 1 year ago

Sam? - - -I mean it's kind of crazy the thought of him transferring again and having to sit out yet another year but -- that is the one I would think if anyone. It's clear that he is not getting it done evidently for Coach Self , Mitch sure isn't going anywhere just think it would almost have to be Cunliffe be the one to transfer out.

Aaron Paisley 1 year ago

Won't be Sam, he can't afford the second lost year of eligibility. If Sam ever transfers out, it'll be as a grad transfer like Coleby. As good as Newman has been playing lately, he's playing himself into being draftable again.

Allan Olson 1 year ago

Unless someone else suddenly becomes a two month, consistent powerhouse to pay for play teams anywhere in the world. And, really needs the money now, then it will be Sam leaving. Looks like he is almost permanently on the outside, and may be shunned from playing time like Carlton became last year. Now Carlton is a three and done it seems. Sam can transfer to a lower level NCAA school and play immediately. As I understand, many scholarships are one way, annual college controlled options. He just may not have any choice. Also, I would not be shocked if Garrett is either redshirted or "not renewed" next year. If Romeo picks KU, be ready to say goodbye to Marcus.

Kyle Rohde 1 year ago

When has Self ever done that unless there was a discipline issue? Garrett is part of this 7 man rotation so Self clearly likes him. No chance of this.

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

"A school that I can go in and be effective as a freshman right away."

If Coach offered him, then okay, but someone needs to let him know he won't be playing against short white guys. (Gottlieb doesn't have any more eligibility.) And then there's boot camp.

Is this insurance relative to Langford choosing elsewhere?

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

"Is this insurance relative to Langford choosing elsewhere?"

my initial reaction as well.

Of course it does seem to indicate, as Aaron P said above that Self expects someone to be leaving the program early. Recruiting Langford is no surprise to me, as Romeo is probably the best player still available and we've been after him a long time. Self always has to be aware and prepared for the situation where we end up with more talent than scholarships.

A late offer to a player like Ochai is a bit surprising to me however. Could be that this kid projects to have tons of potential and Self doesn't want to miss a potential star local kid.

But my guess is that Self's gauging players like Newman, Vick, Dok, and potential transfers and determined that they likely aren't all coming back.

Steve Zimmerman 1 year ago

Wow.. never heard of this guy before, but he looks like a legit top 10! I wish he'll pick KU. He will definitely shine in day-1.

Steve Johnson 1 year ago

Great another guard. does nothing to address our weakness unless he is the next Svi

Bobby Nightengale 1 year ago

If the weakness is KU's frontcourt, I don't think that'll be much of an issue next year. Azubuike, Lightfoot and De Sousa could/should return and KU is still adding transfer Dedric Lawson and incoming freshman David McCormack.

Aaron Paisley 1 year ago

KU will have a front court next season that at this time will include Udoka Azubuike, Dedric Lawson, Silvio DeSousa, Mitch Lightfoot, David McCormack, and KJ Lawson. I believe that issue has already been addressed.

Mike Bennett 1 year ago

I'm always a little hesitant on commenting on guards and small forwards whose highlight reels are mainly dunks, lay-ups and put backs. Often they are great athletes that can't shoot. I'd like to see more.

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Oh Great!!! Another player name I can't pronounce, spell or remember!!! :)

I think I'll just call him Och.

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

HEY...Och and Dok...that kind of rhymes.

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

Is there anybody who will possibly be eligible for a Grad Transfer after this season? Possibly KJ Lawson?

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

nevermind I just looked it up and both Lawson's have been in school 3 years. KJ obviously would have nothing to lose by staying next year, and will likely be eligible for a grad transfer in summer of 2019 if he so chooses.

Could Dedric apply for the draft? I think that he already tested the draft one time. There was talk when Newman transferred to Kansas about whether or not he would try to leave for the NBA after his redshirt year.

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