NEW ORLEANS — Ochai Agbaji’s name is already etched in Kansas Jayhawks history.
His accolades include several All-Big 12 teams, including 2022 Player of the Year, countless splash plays throughout his four years and from all accounts a quality young man in the community.
Agbaji’s legacy is a phenomenal one in Lawrence. Now, add a national championship and Most Outstanding Player to put an exclamation mark on his lengthy list of accomplishments.
Head coach Bill Self told Agbaji that he would be in the rafters when he recruited him to KU, and Agbaji proved him right.
“He’s the most accomplished player that we have had at our university since Danny [Manning],” Self said after the game.
“To think that four years, win a national championship, win the league, win the Big 12 tournament, win the NCAA tournament to be Most Outstanding Player… we may have had some guys to have comparable years, but never anybody to cap it off like this other than D.”
Agbaji didn’t put up big stats in the national championship game: 12 points, three rebounds 1 for 4 from three and 3 for 8 from the free-throw line.
But the stats never tell the full story for Agbaji: His defense always stands out and his leadership and energy made his KU career elite.
“Winning the MOP of this, I don’t care because we won the national championship,” Agbaji said after the game.
He also says living his goals and dreams out with teammates like David McCormack who came into KU with makes this win much sweeter.
“Living it with him and leaving here with history and history in our name, it just it just means so much to the both of us and obviously Mitch and all the guys here.”