Tuesday, March 15, 2022

KU senior Ochai Agbaji named first-team AP All-American

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) gets inside for a shot against Oklahoma State forward Moussa Cisse (33) during the second half on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) gets inside for a shot against Oklahoma State forward Moussa Cisse (33) during the second half on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas senior Ochai Agbaji added to his haul of honors on Tuesday, earning first-team All-American honors from The Associated Press.

It marks the third first team All-America selection for Agbaji thus far. He also earned the honor from The Sporting News and Bleacher Report.

The AP and The Sporting News are two of the four that make up the collaboration of Consensus All-America teams. KU's last AP All-America first team selection was Devonte’ Graham in 2018. Graham went on to be a Consensus first-team All-American.

Agbaji is the fifth player in the Bill Self era at Kansas to be named to the Associated Press All-America first team, joining Graham, Frank Mason III (2017), Thomas Robinson (2012) and Wayne Simien (2005). KU has had a player named AP All-America first, second or third team 19 times in under Self.

Joining Agbaji on the 2022 AP All-America first team were Kofi Cockburn (Illinois), Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky), Johnny Davis (Wisconsin) and Keegan Murray (Iowa). The AP team is selected on by the 60 members who vote on the weekly AP men’s basketball poll.

A Naismith Player of the Year semifinalist, Agbaji also won Big 12 Player of the Year, from both the AP and the coaches, and was named the Most Outstanding Player at last week's Big 12 tournament.

Earlier Tuesday, he and teammate Christian Braun were named to the NABC All-District 8 first team.

Agbaji currently leads the Big 12 — and is 25th nationally — in scoring at 19.7 points per game. The Kansas City, Missouri, guard is second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (40.5%, 31st nationally) and in 3-point field goals made per game (2.8, 42nd nationally).

A four-year starter for KU, Agbaji has etched his name into the Kansas records book. He holds the record for consecutive games of 3-point field goals made at 53. He also ranks 18th on the KU career scoring list with 1,570 points, fourth on the 3-point field goals made (239) and fourth on 3-point field goals attempted (645).

Ranked No. 3 in both national polls, Kansas (28-6) is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region of the 2022 NCAA Championship. On Thursday, March 17, KU will face the winner of the March 15 play-in game between 16 seeds Texas Southern and Texas A&M-Corpus; Christi. The contest will be played at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be televised TruTV with an 8:57 p.m. CST tip.

Ochai Agbaji 2021-22 Honors To Date

Associated Press All-America First Team

NABC All-District 8 First Team

Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player

Big 12 Championship All-Tournament

Naismith Player of the Year Semifinalist (1 of 10)

Sports Illustrated All-America Second Team

Bleacher Report All-America First Team

The Sporting News All-America First Team

Big 12 Player of the Year (Big 12 and AP)

All-Big 12 First Team (Big 12 and AP)

Wooden Award Final Ballot (1 of 15)

Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Finalist (1 of 5)

Academic All-Big 12 Second Team

co-Big 12 Player of the Week (2.21.22)

Naismith Player of the Year Midseason Team (1 of 30)

Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Watch List (top 10)

Big 12 Player of the Week (1.24.22)

The Sporting News Midseason All-American Second Team

Big 12 Player of the Week (1.17.22)

Big 12 Player of the Week (11.15.21)

Big 12 Player of the Week (11.15.21)

Wooden Award Preseason Top 50

Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 50)

NABC Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 20)

Preseason All-Big 12


Dirk Medema 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt - Obviously the article is about Ochai, and he is obviously not going to return for a super senior year, but do you have a feel for CB returning or leaving? He would seem to be a classic candidate for testing the waters after the season regardless.

Also, JWil declared last year, but didn’t seem to attract much attention. Can he declare again and still return? Thoughts on him leaving/staying?

Rodney Crain 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Congrats OA 2 down 2 to go for Consenous AA. I like his chances.

CB should have at least made Honorible Mention.

Barry Weiss 3 months, 3 weeks ago

well deserved. Dirk, I would think that both CB and JW will be back after seeing how Ochai improved by coming back. His stock took a giant jump with his decision to return.

Rodney Crain 3 months, 3 weeks ago


OA was told to be more assertive, to look for "his" shot/drive the lane more often. Matt even wrote about it on here. You must have missed it.

His decision to return was not why his stock took a giant jump. It grew because of the way he played during the season. He is projected to go #11 in the NBA draft right now.

JW and CB should visit with the NBA and find out what they need to improve on and come back. With the recruits we have coming in, with the guys who are staying, we could be something very special next year.

Jonathan Allison 3 months, 3 weeks ago

lots of fans on this site last year didn't think that Ochai could dribble, and believed that he lacked the killer instict and leadership qualities. They thought he'd hit his ceiling last season and shouldn't come back because his stock was only going to go down.

Did he improve over the summer or did he just get the opportunity to shine? I think that he's the most improved player in the NCAA

Rodney Crain 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Jonathan, I am sorry, but I was with you till that last sentence.

There are around 6,000 college basketball games a season. How can you say OA is the most improved player in the NCAA? I agree he has raised the level of his game, but I watch 3 games a week if I am lucky. How can you make a blanket statement like that?

Jonathan Allison 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I watch far fewer games than you. I am not making a quantitative observation of any kind. I was literally just saying that to me it looks like he's improved a lot from last year. Yeah, yeah, I get it. Most players in college improve a lot from year to year. Many players likely have made more significant statistical improvements than Ochai has, but Ochai went from being a good player on a good team to being the best player on possibly the best team. Part of that is opportunity... Ochai from last year wouldn't have been able to accomplish near what he has done this year based on opportunity alone (sans improvement)

Lonnie Ross Dillon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Sports Illustrated 2nd team? Their sports reporting has taken a nose dive lately but... Seriously? Best player in the best conference rates second

Rodney Crain 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Agree. It is a shell of its past self.

My subscription ended last week, it was a DUKE celebration. It hit the trash can before I reached the front door.

Jonathan Allison 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Ochai improved his skills in the offseason (ball handling/transition offense, shooting technique, release timing), returned to school, and was given the opportunity to showcase his talent.

Devonte Graham, Frank Mason, These are players who basically had the green light as seniors. You know coming into the year that it was their year to be the man. This year was going to be Ochai's turn. Some years it's not as obvious who is going to be the natural leader. Other years you may think you know who's going to be the go to guy and he can't handle the load. Ochai has handled expectations incredibly well this year.

He deserves to be a consensus all-American and 1st rounder. Last offseason he was rated as a second rounder, this year he's more likely to be a lottery pick than a second rounder. Yes, it's because of the way that he played this year, but it's also because of the work he put in last summer and the opportunity to be the absolute BMOC this year.

Edward Daub 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Kofi Cockburn is "Larger than the Entire State of Illinois"!

Rock Chalk!!

Jeff Coffman 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill Self Recruiting...I took a walk on and drove him to the i can take top ten recruits to be top drafts like Wiggens, and Embiid!

Dirk Medema 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Walkon? If you are referring to Ochai, he was a redshirt but not a walkon. Last walkon to see meaningful minutes was Conner Teahan. Another example of Coach Self developing players but also a completely different argument.

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