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Big 1st half from Ochai Agbaji earns top spot in ratings after 84-72 win over Oklahoma State

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) puts up a 3 over Oklahoma State forward Cameron McGriff (12) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) puts up a 3 over Oklahoma State forward Cameron McGriff (12) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

1 – Ochai Agbaji – Scored 15 points in the first half when KU needed someone to lead the way and played with the kind of confidence and aggression that this team needs the rest of the way. Finished with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

2 – Mitch Lightfoot – Speaking of aggression, Lightfoot left everything he had on the floor and didn’t back down from anything. He brought energy, grabbed rebounds, blocked shots and provided Kansas with a heartbeat. Tallied 6 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and, just as importantly, 5 fouls in 20 crucial minutes.

3 – Dedric Lawson – In terms of pure talent, he was easily the best player in the game, although it did take him a litlte while to get going. Still, when he did, he looked so smooth and virtually unstoppable. Finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

4 – Devon Dotson – It wasn’t his best day attacking the rim, but that didn’t stop him from competing and playing the kind of nasty defense that opponents fear. 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists with just 1 turnover in 37 minutes.

5 – Quentin Grimes – Finally found his shot in the second half and finished with 6 points and 4 rebounds, but also added 4 turnovers.

6 – K.J. Lawson – Drove to the rim hard for a tough basket in the first half and didn’t play in the second half until the final couple of minutes.

7 – David McCormack – Made his first start and grabbed 5 rebounds, but also missed all 3 shots he attempted and continued to look a little unsettled out there.

8 – Charlie Moore – Shot 1-of-6 from the floor, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range. As a result, his minutes were severely slashed in the second half.

Season Standings:

1 - Devon Dotson – 187

2 - Dedric Lawson – 182

3 - Lagerald Vick – 132

4 - Marcus Garrett – 125

5 - Quentin Grimes – 107

6 - Mitch Lightfoot – 83

7 - Charlie Moore – 69

8 – Ochai Agbaji – 62

9 - David McCormack – 60

9 - K.J. Lawson – 60

Note: Injured center Udoka Azubuike had recorded 50 points through KU’s first 13 games of the season and freshman Ochai Agbaji did not start playing until Game 15. Senior Lagerald Vick left the team to take a leave of absence with no timetable two days before Game 24.

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Freshman PG the toughest of the Jayhawks on a rough night in Manhattan

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) drives against Kansas State guard Barry Brown Jr. (5) during the second half, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) drives against Kansas State guard Barry Brown Jr. (5) during the second half, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

1 – Devon Dotson – Like many of his teammates, Dotson was bit by the injury bug in this one. But that didn’t stop him from battling hard and getting to the paint every chance he got. Finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals on a night when he played 39 minutes before fouling out.

2 – Mitch Lightfoot – In 12 first-half minutes, he was arguably the best player in the game, finishing with 6 tough points and 5 rebounds — 3 of them offensive — to help Kansas claim a 33-30 halftime lead. Played just 2 minutes in the second half.

3 – Charlie Moore – Again proved to be ready to handle an increase in minutes with Marcus Garrett sidelined. Made two first-half 3-pointers for 8 points and dished 2 assists and swiped 2 steals in 20 minutes.

4 – Dedric Lawson – Even while finishing one rebound shy of yet another double-double (18 points, 9 rebounds), it was clear that K-State’s defensive gameplan on Lawson bothered him. He shot 6-of-15 from the floor and also turned it over 4 times.

5 – Quentin Grimes – Drained a pair of first-half 3-pointers but also turned it over a game-high 5 times. The inconsistent run continues.

6 – Ochai Agbaji – You could tell it wasn’t going to be Ochai’s night when he lost track of the sideline and stepped out of bounds on the game’s first possession. He battled hard, as always, but seemed a little sped up and out of sorts most of the night.

7 – Lagerald Vick – Self and Vick did not see eye to eye early in the first half and the senior played just 4 minutes as a result. He played 15 minutes in the second half and finished with 7 points, but needed to do more for this team to have a chance and never seemed fully into this one.

8 – K.J. Lawson – Made 1 of the 2 3-pointers he attempted and didn’t do a whole lot else in 12 minutes on the floor.

Season Standings:

1 - Devon Dotson – 182

2 - Dedric Lawson – 176

3 - Lagerald Vick – 132

4 - Marcus Garrett – 125

5 - Quentin Grimes – 103

6 - Mitch Lightfoot – 76

7 - Charlie Moore – 68

8 - David McCormack – 58

9 - K.J. Lawson – 57

10 – Ochai Agbaji – 54

Note: Injured center Udoka Azubuike had recorded 50 points through KU’s first 13 games of the season and freshman Ochai Agbaji did not start playing until Game 15.

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