LAWRENCE, Kan. — Through KU’s first 10 games, junior guard Ochai Agbaji is proving he can be dependable. But Agbaji admits there’s room for improvement.
“Just staying aggressive. I know my teammates are still going to look for me in the second half or in the first half or whenever,” Agbaji said.
Agbaji is stepping into his expanded role, filling the void of Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson, who left Lawrence for the NBA. The Kansas City native currently leads the Jayhawks in scoring with just under 15 points per game.
“I think Och has been very consistent so far. You can’t put a lot of good performances that he strung together and say because he wasn’t effective in one half, you know, it’s cause for major alarm,” KU coach Bill Self said.
The Big 12 is consistently one of the toughest basketball conferences in the country. Agbaji’s family believes he will continue to find his way.
“He has worked very hard since he was a kid. He would love to go to the gym on Saturday mornings. He’d work real hard, leading all the way up to this time,” Agbaji’s mother, Erica Agbajii, said.
Agbaji flew under the radar during much of his high school career at Oak Park. As a late bloomer, he’s developed into one of KU’s best players.
“When that redshirt was pulled, he really had to step up to the plate, and we feel like he really did and continues to,” Erica Agbaji said.
Kansas suffered a blow out loss to Texas on Saturday — tying for the worst home loss in KU history. Ochai Agbaji scored 11 points. All those buckets came in the first half.
This won’t be the last time Kansas is tested. Agbaji’s mother is sure her son and the Jayhawks will bounce back.
“I kind of have taught my kids to just let it roll off and be ready for the next game,” Erica Agbaji said.
Kansas moves to 8-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference. They play TCU on the road Tuesday.