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Self says freshman Ochai Agbaji will redshirt 2018-19 season

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Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is pictured on Media Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is pictured on Media Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Kansas freshman Ochai Agbaji’s first taste of the Champions Classic will have to wait a year. In fact, it looks like it will be another 12 months before Agbaji actually suits up for the Jayhawks.

Kansas coach Bill Self on Monday afternoon told the Journal-World that the freshman guard will redshirt the 2018-19 season.

Agbaji, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound athlete from Oak Park High in Kansas City, Mo., signed with the Jayhawks late and has had redshirt talk surrounding his name since he committed to KU last winter.

Late last month, at Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City, Mo., Self indicated that Agbaji could be a redshirt candidate simply because the KU backcourt is loaded with depth and talent.

Agbaji has said throughout his time with the Jayhawks — including as recently as last week after KU’s exhibition victory over Washburn — that he would do whatever the coaching staff thought was best for the team. And Self has said that the athletic guard who, in limited minutes, has looked smooth, confident and more mature than your average freshman, is too good of a player to waste a season by playing just a few minutes a game.

"This kid's got some intangibles,” Self noted back at KU media day on Oct. 10, listing length, explosiveness, attitude and toughness. “I don't want to make any bold predictions, but he's going to be a guy that's going to start a lot of games and play a ton of minutes and score a ton of points here. It just may not happen immediately for him. (But) I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t pan out to be one of the best 30 or 40 players in his class.”

When he signed, Self compared Agbaji to former KU guard Travis Releford, who also hailed from the Kansas City area and redshirted during his Kansas career. And now, the two have even one more thing in common.

Comments

Clarence Haynes 2 weeks ago

Use that extra year to excel both on and off that court!

Steve Zimmerman 2 weeks ago

Hang in there, Ochai! Make sure you make the best out of this situation. I'm disappointed I have to wait another year to see you on the court, but it is what it is.

Brett McCabe 2 weeks ago

Would rather see him active and pushing the 5-stars for playing time.

Stephen Dobelbower 2 weeks ago

This is a WIN/WIN. Sure he won't have game time, but it would have been clean up minutes. This will be great come his senior year. I can see him being more valuable than Travis Releford (and that says a LOT!).

Tony Bandle 1 week, 6 days ago

ABSOLUTELY the right decision!!! If Silvio had been cleared to play, I would have put Mitch in the red next to him, but that does not appear that is going to happen.

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