Ochai



  • jayballer73 said:

    Where did you hear/see this - - went on the LJW and it hasn’t posted anything?

    https://twitter.com/KUHoops/status/1082798566089916416



  • 0_1546995532762_DwbfjOYX4AEq2TF.jpg-large.jpg

    OK, the “we’re gonna play small a lot” kind of scares me a bit, but I’ll see what the hall of fame coach has up his sleeve.



  • @BShark Ochai playing seems to indicate there is little faith in McCormack. And it shows what we know and you said about Moore and KJ — not guys that are reliable, positive contributors. Really quite a surprising development.



  • HighEliteMajor said:

    @BShark Ochai playing seems to indicate there is little faith in McCormack. And it shows what we know and you said about Moore and KJ — not guys that are reliable, positive contributors. Really quite a surprising development.

    If Self is truly switching to predominantly 4 out 1 in I would say this makes a ton of sense. McCormack would have to be the main back-up 5. Ochai will add good shooting, that’s for sure. He could very well be the best shooter on the roster which is obviously sorely lacking and needed to play 4 out. So the question is why didn’t he play to start the season, besides the injury. Well, he will likely struggle on defense, but it can be mitigated at least by him playing at the 4.



  • I say start him. We are at home where he would likely play better. See what you got in the first 4 minutes or so. See if he is the spark we need

    Nothing to lose giving him a chance based on what we have seen from other options



  • Too late to redshirt KJ for a few years or so? (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

    Really, i’m happy to hear about Ochai. Can’t hurt, hopefully. I liked what i saw early on. Seemed big and aggressive. I’m not so concerned about him losing half a year down the line. Players come and go. We’ll find a replacement 3.5 years from now. Sounds to me as though we’ll spread the floor some when he’s in the game – with priority No. 1 being go North/South and get to the hole. Not an easy ask for a freshman. that’s what we need more of IMO. Keep it simple.



  • Oops, i forgot to add…do not expect him to come in and be lights out savior from the 3 pt line. that’s a very rare thing as a freshman.



  • @HighEliteMajor McCormak will be in a ton of foul trouble if he plays a ton in conference play.



  • Hmmm. Just had an interesting thought. It’s pretty obvious that Ochai doesn’t really help to fill the Doke void, even if we play “small” the entire game.

    But he would fill a Vick void. STAY TUNED people. This ride could get bumpier.



  • Self is going back to what he knows…DEFENSE!!! I’d bet anything we pressure like crazy. With added guard depth if you dont guard you dont play…Moore and KJ are horrible on D.



  • @DanR Always possible, but it could also mean that players like KJ and Charlie see less time on the floor. If the “new” emphasis seems to be on defense, well there goes Charlie.



  • @jayhawkcsg I’d be OK with more D, less charlie. I honestly can’t tell what KJ brings.



  • I betcha he, at the very least plays hard and doesn’t stand around watching! Might help motivate those guys that do or coach can sit their butts. Any spark at all would be an improvement to me!



  • @BigBad To play McCormack now makes him better in March. But there will be tough times I’m sure. On the defense thing, we’ve never really pressured. It’s always token and mostly useless.



  • Last year, we thought Moore & the Lawson’s were tearing it up in practice. Practice guys sometimes don’t come through in games. Epiphany!!!



  • I want Big Dave to play, not be buried behind Dedric. Dave will be an asset on the defensive end and hustles.

    But I don’t think he will get much time at the 4. Consequently, not much time at all save breathers and foul trouble.

    Also, I want to see Marcus only come in the game with a minimum of two other shooters, meaning Dotson, Q, Ogbaji, Vick. If we are truly 4 guard, then the rule should be only with 3 of the 4 shooters unless under durress (fouls or boneheads).

    No Vick turning the ball over; short leash.

    No Charlie and no KJ in non-emergencies.

    Why can’t Mitch hit his threes this year? I had high hopes in that dept.



  • @approxinfinity The bigger question beyond why can’t Mitch hit threes this year is why can’t Lawson hit threes this year? Looks like he made about 30 in each of his Memphis seasons. 35% as a frosh and 27% as a soph. Way behind that pace this year at 16%. It would help tremendously if he could pick up the pace in the 3 pt. department.

    And i’m with ya…MORE Big Dave!



  • approxinfinity said:

    Why can’t Mitch hit his threes this year? I had high hopes in that dept.

    He never really hit them with much volume at all. The fact that he played 14 minutes a game last year shows just how thin the roster was.



  • Mitch has been pretty terrible this year (SO FAR), like he’s wearing oven mitts. He just can’t hang onto the damn ball after rebounds or post feeds. I’m probably his biggest fan/cheerleader, and I honestly don’t know what to make of his play so far. I hope he shakes the rust off, because he needs to step up and at least set some mean screens.



  • My only concern is Agbaji’s long term health. Shifting one or two games this season isn’t worth potentially compromising his career.

    Stress fractures are weird. I would rather be cautious. I hope he is 100%



  • I haven’t been paying attention…Ochai had a stress fracture? what to?



  • Didn’t we also sign some other kid late who eventually hurt himself? or was hurt to begin with? I don’t see him on the roster. Sure you’re not confusing Ochai with him? Or am i getting senile…



  • Ochai had a boot on early in the season, stress fracture. You must be senile🤣



  • I’m not sure we have the guards to play 4 around 1 with this group. Definitely don’t think Ochai is the savior that changes that either. This is kind of an odd move in my opinion.

    I think I would have given big Dave alot more minutes and a leash to grow for the next 2.5 months and still played mostly a 3 around 2 with Dedric obviously as the 4 man. It does seem a bit like desperation to me. If Ochai was so great then why the redshirt? The best athlete on the team? Wow. Thats saying alot or not much at all. I’m not sure which. But even with the injury if Self thought there was even a glimmer of a chance of having a freakishly athletic guy by the time big 12 play starts I don’t think we see the redshirt. One could argue we thought we had more depth sure… But that would seem to be naive considering Self has largely known what he had for months now. Minus Udoka of course. He always knows things long before we do. If we ever do.

    Hell maybe he knows Ochai is gonna be spectacular like now… or soon. I’m on board. What do we got to lose at this point. The team as it is certainly doesn’t appear to be going anywhere great. Maybe this is a game changer. Time will tell



  • I am apparently quicker to give up on a season than Bill. I thought the chemistry sucks and the pieces don’t really fit why throw another part at it? I thought 5th year Ochai would be more valuable than freshman Ochai. I don’t know that my thoughts have changed, but I don’t watch him practice every day. I’m not sure what to think about this deal. Seems shortsighted…Even if it keeps the streak alive. Time will tell.



  • I’m willing to change the crap on the floor at isu! Someone who is happy and excited to put on the Jayhawk uniform and play hard!



  • approxinfinity said:

    I want Big Dave to play, not be buried behind Dedric. Dave will be an asset on the defensive end and hustles.

    But I don’t think he will get much time at the 4. Consequently, not much time at all save breathers and foul trouble.

    Also, I want to see Marcus only come in the game with a minimum of two other shooters, meaning Dotson, Q, Ogbaji, Vick. If we are truly 4 guard, then the rule should be only with 3 of the 4 shooters unless under durress (fouls or boneheads).

    No Vick turning the ball over; short leash.

    No Charlie and no KJ in non-emergencies.

    Why can’t Mitch hit his threes this year? I had high hopes in that dept.

    this is the nail on the head response to what we’ve seen so far



  • @HighEliteMajor I think what this indicates more than a commentary on Dave is that it cements that Silvio will not be playing this year. And that to me is the real death knell on the season.



  • Usually in situations like this I’m defensive about what kind of impact this will have however I have a gut feeling its going to work out. There’s a few reasons I think this is happening. First and the most obvious is Bill is going small. No way he can sustain the 4 guard lineup with what he has right now. He needs the extra guard depth. The 2nd is I think Self saw something in Ochai from the time he offered him a scholarship that he believes Ochai can help this team. Statistically he might not be the savior immediately but from the things they said about him when they signed him Ochai seemed to have that competitive streak and toughness about him that Self seems to covet in his players. It’s clearly lacking from some on this team. I’m not trying to put expectations on him but something about this whole thing leads me to believe 5-6 games from now if he’s a regular part of the rotation we are going to see an impact.

    I know some may think this is desperation, maybe it is, Self is down 1 starter for the year and a 2nd seems very unlikely to play as well. I know Ryan on the phog is not buying this being anything impactful but I do think he’s judging the cover before he reads the book a bit here too. Self always finds a way. Silvio saved last season. It’s been done before. Ochai doesn’t have the name reputation but he must have been pretty darn good last year to get on KU’s radar so late. It’s not like he didn’t have other Power 5 scholarship offers. He’s athletic and can shoot, if he can do both of those things that’s a plus in my book. I say give it some time but I’m very optimistic about this decision



  • @BeddieKU23 Last year silvio rides in late and ultimately was a game changer. Two years in a row? Someone get the white horse some oats!!!



  • Did anyone else catch where it said Ochai was practicing with the first unit? Starting tonight???

    If so is it Vick riding pine??



  • Fightsongwriter said:

    @BeddieKU23 Last year silvio rides in late and ultimately was a game changer. Two years in a row? Someone get the white horse dome oats!!!

    For comparison sake Silvio was a much better HS prospect then Ochai was. Ochai came on the scene late and seemed to figure things out his Sr year but he didn’t do much on the AAU circuit.

    Silvio was a Top 10 player earlier in his HS career and was a fixture on the AAU scene and played for his national team so experience wise Silvio was ready to come to KU and impact the game. That’s why I’m hesitant to say Ochai can impact the team the same way. But we’re almost half way through the season and the options on this team are underperforming big time and its well worth a shot to see how this kid reacts to the big stage. You just never know until you put them out there how they will react. If he’s got poise and toughness and can do some things we’re really lacking (perimeter shooting) I think this move turns out to be the right one. I hope he gets his chance tonight



  • @cragarhawk The biggest issue with still trying to play 2 bigs is that Mitch would have to get huge minutes. That would be a disaster and Bill knows it imo.



  • @BShark idk, I give that a better long term chance. I think it gives the team the highest ceiling at this point. Otherwise we’re basically saying we’re gonna rely on guys that aren’t good shooters becoming great shooters. I don’t think that happens. Even Vick’s run of lights out performances was (Suns shines on a dogs behind some days) kind of stuff. Things almost always revert to the mean. Love to see it work. But am highly skeptical. If there’s a somewhat positive way of looking at it, I guess for me it’s that idk that we’re gonna be ridiculously great either way. So pick one and go with it I reckon. Lol. Why not



  • @dylans maybe Bill knows Ochai wont be here for 5 years anyway.



  • I’ve slept on it, and I still don’t know how this really helps KU in the immediate sense.

    As others have noted, Agbaji was not a top 30 recruit. He was a good player that improved drastically over the last 16 months. But with the injury, it’s hard to say where he is at developmentwise. I suppose he could have improved even more from when we last got an extended look at him, but even then, it’s doubtful that he turned into a top 50 talent overnight, particularly given he missed time with injury that likely slowed his development a bit.

    Travis Releford seems to be a good comp for Agbaji. Obviously, we all remember veteran Releford being a big contributor as a junior and senior. However, Releford barely played as a true freshman, redshirted his second year, then barely played as a redshirt sophomore (just 10 mpg). I think we could expect that type of production from Agbaji, so maybe 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in 10-12 minutes.

    Is that going to change the outcome of games?

    Is that worth losing a year of development for him to play roughly half a season?

    Is that worth sacrificing the likely production Agbaji will provide in 2022-23 as a redshirt senior?

    Now, if Agbaji provides more production than that, say, more along the lines of 6-7 points, 3 rebounds, in 15-18 minutes per game, then the calculation obviously changes because that might change the outcome of some games and raise the ceiling come March. If that’s what Self sees and expects, then his decision to yank the shirt makes sense and could pay huge dividends. But if its not, then this is puzzling.



  • 4 guards is the right decision. Dotson, Grimes and Dedric should all play better in space. This also allows you to really have 5 shooters on the floor at times, if Garrett is out of the game. Maybe they aren’t knockdown guys, but they all shoot it well enough to give whoever is driving space.

    I’d also like to see us slow the pace quite a bit. Turn it into a half court challenge. I’ll take Lawson and Dotson’s ability to score in half court over damn near anyone else. I think Grimes will get better too as we creep through conference play.

    I definitely don’t think the season is doomed. This is really where Bill has shined in the past. Seriously, how was last year’s team in the FF? We pulled a kid out of HS and made a FF run through Seton Hall, Clemson and Duke. How was 2012 in the Championship? 3 of those games were decided by 3 points or less on that run AND WE PLAYED JUSTIN WESLEY 9 MINUTES PER GAME. One of those “In Bill Self I Trust” moments coming. You can just feel it.



  • @justanotherfan maybe just an insurance policy / leverage? What leverage does he have with Vick right now for making stupid plays? He needs Vicks shooting ability, always.

    Would Ogbaji be a redshirt if Vick hadn’t come back? I did not see definite red flags from what I saw of ogbaji’s play prior to the redshirt. He seemed able to contribute as a shooter then and now.

    Kid is a gym rat who hangs out with Mitch (at least in videos). Seems smart, focused and calm. I’m not betting against him to contribute this year.

    Go OO, Go!



  • justanotherfan said:

    I’ve slept on it, and I still don’t know how this really helps KU in the immediate sense.

    As others have noted, Agbaji was not a top 30 recruit. He was a good player that improved drastically over the last 16 months. But with the injury, it’s hard to say where he is at developmentwise. I suppose he could have improved even more from when we last got an extended look at him, but even then, it’s doubtful that he turned into a top 50 talent overnight, particularly given he missed time with injury that likely slowed his development a bit.

    Travis Releford seems to be a good comp for Agbaji. Obviously, we all remember veteran Releford being a big contributor as a junior and senior. However, Releford barely played as a true freshman, redshirted his second year, then barely played as a redshirt sophomore (just 10 mpg). I think we could expect that type of production from Agbaji, so maybe 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in 10-12 minutes.

    Is that going to change the outcome of games?

    Absolutely it could change the outcome of games. If he can hit 3s at a decent clip (33%), he then makes an impact just by being on the court. 10 minutes of not being able to double off onto Lawson in the post. 10 minutes of opening driving lanes for Dotson. Add in that Bill has said he’s the most athletic player on the team. That alone will give him the ability to make 10 impactful minutes in certain games.

    If he wins you one game this year because he made an amazing play or two to change the outcome, it could be the difference between playing in the Kansas City Region or getting shipped out West instead. To me, that makes it 100% worth burning his redshirt.



  • I also want to bring up that Ochai isn’t your typical “unranked” freshman project. The kid is built like a grown ass man. He was before he got here, and I’m sure Hudy has only been able to help. He isn’t going to be physically overmatched. It is all a mental thing with him. Now that he has been in the program for 7 months, I think he should have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. The speed of the game should have slowed down for him some by now. He may not be a savior, but he certainly shouldn’t be a nightmare on the court either.



  • @Kcmatt7

    I agree about pace especially. I think I saw, KU on Offense is Top 30 in pace but defensively one of the worst- meaning we let teams run through their sets. So it may pay off to slow the ball down on O a bit and force Dedric and Vick especially to pass up some of the quick shots they tend to take as soon as they get the ball. Also, adjust something defensively that may lead to shorter defensive possessions either more token pressure full/ 3/4 court or more ball traps on the perimeter on ball screens. Without Doke and his presence, teams are going to look at our front line and say attack, attack attack.



  • @Kcmatt7 I might add that his positive attitude and enthusiasm might affect these guys! I don’t think he’ll be standing around watching.



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    @Kcmatt7

    I agree about pace especially. I think I saw, KU on Offense is Top 30 in pace but defensively one of the worst- meaning we let teams run through their sets. So it may pay off to slow the ball down on O a bit and force Dedric and Vick especially to pass up some of the quick shots they tend to take as soon as they get the ball. Also, adjust something defensively that may lead to shorter defensive possessions either more token pressure full/ 3/4 court or more ball traps on the perimeter on ball screens. Without Doke and his presence, teams are going to look at our front line and say attack, attack attack.

    I’d love to see us press. I could only imagine how effective it would be with our length.



  • Kcmatt7 said:

    BeddieKU23 said:

    @Kcmatt7

    I agree about pace especially. I think I saw, KU on Offense is Top 30 in pace but defensively one of the worst- meaning we let teams run through their sets. So it may pay off to slow the ball down on O a bit and force Dedric and Vick especially to pass up some of the quick shots they tend to take as soon as they get the ball. Also, adjust something defensively that may lead to shorter defensive possessions either more token pressure full/ 3/4 court or more ball traps on the perimeter on ball screens. Without Doke and his presence, teams are going to look at our front line and say attack, attack attack.

    I’d love to see us press. I could only imagine how effective it would be with our length.

    I’d love to see this team use a 3/4 press after made baskets. Especially if you can put Dotson and Garrett on the front line of that as our two best perimeter defenders. Nothing like slowing a team down after you’ve scored on them. I think we have the personnel without Doke to do that now.

    It sounds great but I know unless they are installing it right now during the break its not happening. Self is who he is, he believes in M2M principles. It’s fun to think about though. We certainly need answers



  • Kcmatt7 said:

    I also want to bring up that Ochai isn’t your typical “unranked” freshman project. The kid is built like a grown ass man. He was before he got here, and I’m sure Hudy has only been able to help. He isn’t going to be physically overmatched. It is all a mental thing with him. Now that he has been in the program for 7 months, I think he should have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. The speed of the game should have slowed down for him some by now. He may not be a savior, but he certainly shouldn’t be a nightmare on the court either.

    Didn’t Ochai end up a low end 4 star prospect by the end of the season but I get your point, his reputation coming in was minimal. He definitely looks the part of an upperclassmen so I agree physically the game should not impact him. It would be something if he had the poise right off the bat to impact the game. It’s a good thing his debut comes at home as I think that accelerates comfort and feel.



  • jayhawkcsg said:

    Oops, i forgot to add…do not expect him to come in and be lights out savior from the 3 pt line. that’s a very rare thing as a freshman.

    ya that’s what I’m thinking myself. – I sure hope and I’m not saying for people here - -but I SURE the hell hope people don’t think he is going to be some almighty savior - I have read where and makes you think he will be the difference - - -yes being told athletic - -yes a high flyer - - yes a good shooter - -but still needs time , it’s going to be overwhelming for him for awhile , then cold be a vey good addition.

    Some people just think sometimes that things such as this all it’s gonna take. - I’m really looking forward to seeing him - for sure will help , all I’m trying to say is that let’s give him some time - -just like Silvio last year - -big difference between practice and game time.

    What I’m afraid of is he may come out the first 3-4 games and struggle some and then SOME people start getting frustrated that the kid not putting up big numbers or something like that. - That’s not fair to him at all - glad to have him though/ - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    I say start him. We are at home where he would likely play better. See what you got in the first 4 minutes or so. See if he is the spark we need

    Nothing to lose giving him a chance based on what we have seen from other options

    It will be good for him I think to get his first game time minutes while a home, let him get some of those jitters out of the way at home instead of having to experience that being thrown to the wolves on the road for that. - -I think he will be fine just as long as people realize he won’t be putting up monster numbers. - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY



  • BigBad said:

    Self is going back to what he knows…DEFENSE!!! I’d bet anything we pressure like crazy. With added guard depth if you dont guard you dont play…Moore and KJ are horrible on D.

    We need to learn how to play defense PERIOD 1st before we try and defend like crazy. - If you watch games we have been back doored soooo many times , we give up way to many offensive rebounds where teams get 2-3 shots per possession that sucks – our 3 pt defense is non exsistent - -got possessions where players get lost or just kind of half hearted - -jog out and king like half hearted olay wave a arm up and then back up off the player - -way to many open shots… - -Coach normally - if your not willing to play D - -then your on the bench - -thing is this year if he ran that approach , the whole DAM TEAM would be on the bench so we need to just learn how to play defense - -any kind of defense 1st before worrying about defending like crazy



  • I guess the question to me is if Ochai Agbaji, by his addition to this team, as currently built (i.e., no Silvio, no Doke) make this team a Final Four team?

    If yes, burn the redshirt and get him in the rotation.

    If no, keep the redshirt and let him be a workhorse for a Final Four team down the road.

    I think Agbaji is good, and can get better. I think he makes this years team marginally better. But better is relative.

    Let’s say you believe without Agbaji, this year’s team is an 83 on a scale of 1-100. With Agbaji they move up to 84 or 85. He has, by definition, made the team “better”. However, let’s say that the typical team that you expect to get to the Final Four is an 88. Yes, Agbaji made this team better, but he didn’t raise the level all the way to Final Four/National Champion caliber.

    Now, you can say that this team, as currently built is an 85 already, and that Agbaji adds 4 points to the total, getting them to 89. In that scenario, I agree completely that its worth it. If, on the other hand, you think this team is just an 80, unless Agbaji adds 8 points to that total, it’s not worth it.

    Part of my argument for that is that he’s already missed a significant portion of the season. KU has played 14 of their 31 expected regular season games. He’s missed almost half the season. If he’s not ready to play rotation minutes immediately (literally immediately, like ready to play anywhere from 12-25 minutes TONIGHT), then he will have missed basically half the season. Is half a season of Agbaji now worth sacrificing a full season later?

    That’s what I keep coming back to. The benefit of now versus the benefit of the long run. I think Agbaji is good and can help along the margins. I think he can handle the physical play. I think he could provide a boost offensively. I think he can be a physical defender that guards 3 positions. All of those things move the needle to make a team better. Had Agbaji been available from day one, I would have had no problem with that because I think he’s ready to play D1 (presuming 100% health, which has to be assumed, otherwise this entire discussion is insane).

    But if you pull Agbaji’s redshirt, this had better be a Final Four team because you are making an All-In type move and that’s the only way you can make it pay off. Pulling his redshirt for half a season that ends with a S16 or even E8 exit would be a waste. You’re not pulling (or shouldn’t be pulling) his redshirt to win the Big 12. That’s a waste. Pulling his redshirt is about national championship aspirations. Approaching it any other way isn’t considering the cost.



  • jayhawkcsg said:

    @DanR Always possible, but it could also mean that players like KJ and Charlie see less time on the floor. If the “new” emphasis seems to be on defense, well there goes Charlie.

    answer me this batman - -how can KJ possibly play any LESS MINUTES? - -I think people might be just a little to hard on KJ for the amount of time he HAS been on the court.

    can’t be that bad - put up pretty decent numbers at Memphis , - -now I sure the hell ain’t saying he needs to see major minutes BUT he could see some more then he is getting - -hard for a player to get in any kind of rhythm when so sporadic minutes - he sure in the hell isn’t any worse then Vick when he does his disappearing acts - you ain’t telling me Vick is any better on the defensive end - Vick SUCKS. - -KJ goes to the boards well - - Ahh I’m getting off the subject wandering all over the place - I’m just looking forward to better play - - really don’t care who it is - just want us to get better. - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY


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