Ochai Agbaji Reportedly Will Forgo 2021 NBA Draft, Return to Kansas for Senior Season

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2021

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji has reportedly withdrawn his name from the 2021 NBA draft class and will return to the Jayhawks for his senior season.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported the news Tuesday and noted Agbaji was projected as a potential second-round pick before opting to return for another year of college basketball.

The 21-year-old Wisconsin native has made steady progress across three years at KU. He averaged 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals across 30 appearances during the 2020-21 season while also typically garnering the assignment of defending the opponent's top wing scorer.

Agbaji (6'6'', 214 lbs) made significant strides as an outside shooter. He shot just 30.7 percent from three-point range as a freshman in 2018-19, but he knocked down 37.7 percent of his outside shots last season while pouring in 2.6 threes per contest. His overall shooting percentage (42.0 last season) still needs work, though.

"I will be keeping my NCAA eligibility throughout this process and look forward to hearing from NBA professionals on ways I can improve my game. This is a great opportunity as I work towards my goal of being a professional basketball player," Agbaji said in a statement after initially declaring for the draft.

Givony noted Agbaji could establish himself as a first-round pick next year if he continues his upward trend in his final season with the Jayhawks.

Meanwhile, his return further bolsters an already promising outlook for Kansas next season.

The Jayhawks return their top three scorers (Agbaji, David McCormack and Jalen Wilson) from a team that went 21-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, and they added one of the top transfers in the country, Remy Martin, who averaged 19.1 points each of the last two years at Arizona State.

Andy Katz of NCAA.com ranked KU at No. 5 in his early power rankings for the 2021-22 campaign in April.

Agbaji and the Jayhawks are scheduled to open the season Nov. 9 with a high-profile clash against Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic.


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