Basketball Friends | Are Ochai & Braun turning into one of the best duos of the Bill Self era?


Kansas guard Christian Braun (2) goes in to the bucket during the second half against Missouri on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Christian Braun (2) goes in to the bucket during the second half against Missouri on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Fresh off of a near-40-point drubbing of bitter border rival Missouri, the Kansas Jayhawks appear to have hit their stride again as they close in on the final few games of their schedule before Big 12 play begins.

In our latest episode, Journal-World Sports Editor Matt Tait & 610 Sports co-host and producer Nick Schwerdt take a look at two of the team's top players and discuss:

• What has gotten into Christian Braun?

• Braun's ridiculous shooting numbers.

• Why Nick thinks Mitch Lightfoot was the MVP of the Missouri game.

• Where Braun and Ochai Agbaji rank in terms of recent Jayhawk duos

• And more...


Dirk Medema 5 months ago

Recent is a bit ambiguous so it seems worthwhile, maybe even column worthy to ask who are the best duos. In no particular order (maybe reverse chronological): 1. Dot and Dok 2. Frank and Devonte 3. TT and TRob 4. Sherron and Cole 5. BRush and Mario (though that team was loaded enough that it’s sorta whack to ID just 2. Might this team be somewhat similar?) 6. Kirk and Nick

That at least gets us to the turn of the century. Others? Rankings?

Matt Tait 5 months ago

All good ones. And a good idea. Don't be surprised if you see this very column in the next couple of weeks.

Not sure why — probably because they were so close — but I also always think of Devonte' and Svi when I think of duos. Helps that they made a Final Four together and both played a huge role in getting KU there.

Self era will make this more manageable. But others to remember include: Pierce and LaFrentz.... the Morris twins (of course!)..... Adonis Jordan and Rex Walters.... and others, I'm sure.

Nick Kramer 5 months ago

Och and Christian are averaging 39p, 11r, and 4 apg so far and it's fun to watch. I researched a few other duos from the past --- 1987 Manning/Hunter averaged 40P, 17r, and 10a. (Cedric was an unbelievable rebounder at under 6 ft.) '70 Robisch/Russell 40p, 22r. '58 Chamberlain/Loneski 43p, 27r. '52 Lovellette/Kenney 41p, 17r. As for strictly guard duos, 1962 Jerry Gardner/Nolan Ellison 39p, 9r. Interesting that with the exception of 1952, teams with two dominant players didn't do as well as balanced attacks such as in '86 and '08. If Wilson and McCormack step up, it should reduce the Och and Braun stats, but improve the team overall.

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

Thanks Matt. Pierce and LaFrentz, Adonis Jordan and Rex Walters (Thompson and Kellogg - oh for a 3 pt arc, Manning and Piper) came to mind but also why I chose to stop at this century.

Nick - Great research. Your comment falls in line with the’08 team and even the ‘88 team. Danny was obviously dominant and Chris was crucial for keeping opponents honest, but it was so fun to watch Coach Brown pull strings and find others to step up in each of the last 3 games in particular.

That goes to my comment on Joseph this year. There is always an opportunity for someone to step up and fill a hole when a starter has an off day or foul trouble or injury or something else. Clint Normore and Scooter Barry in ‘88. Cole in ‘08. Conner for the entire’11-12 season and the original (?) walkon starter (Dr?) Christian (?). There are plenty of options on this team.

Hey Matt. Another article idea or maybe an offseason series when there isn’t as much going on? Favorite unsung heroes.

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