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Kansas City guard Ochai Agbaji to reveal college pick Thursday afternoon
Oak Park High senior Ochai Agbaji (pronounced Och-eye A-ba-gee), a 6-foot-5 wing regarded by many as the best player in the Kansas City area, is ready to announce his college of choice.
And he plans to do it at 2 p.m. Thursday during a ceremony at Oak Park.
Agbaji's recruitment is not the typical chase for the stars that that KU program is known to be involved with. But the Jayhawks, along with a handful of other schools from Power 5 conferences — Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin and Texas A&M among them — recently jumped into the race to land one of the fastest-rising recruits still available in the 2018 class.
Unranked by Rivals.com and slotted as the No. 328 prospect in the nation by 247 Sports — No. 75 overall among shooting guards and No. 11 in the state of Missouri — the 6-foot-5, 195-pound wing first received an offer from Kansas last weekend, after KU coach Bill Self made the drive over to watch Agbaji play live.
In that game, Agbaji poured in 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, displaying the kind of all-around game that has attracted some of the biggest programs in college basketball to take a closer look of late.
Dubbed by 247 Sports recruiting analyst Matt Scott “a walking box score,” Agbaji grew an inch from his playing days with MOKAN Elite last summer and has drawn comparisons to former KU star and Kansas City native Travis Releford but with a better jump shot.
After receiving an official scholarship offer from Self and the Jayhawks last week, Agbaji told Scott he was “excited about it” and added that it was “an honor.”
Those statements, along with an announcement date coming two days before he was expected to take an official visit to Oregon State over the weekend, have some thinking Kansas is in good shape with Agbaji.
But Kansas or not, the Jayhawks and the rest of the surging shooting guard's suitors will know by Thursday afternoon where Agbaji is headed.
Should Agbaji pick Kansas, he would become the fifth player in KU's 2018 class, joining five-star guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes and Top 40 big men Silvio De Sousa, who already with the team but still counts in the 2018 class, and David McCormack.
With De Sousa already having a scholarship and Dotson, Grimes and McCormack taking the scholarships made available by the combined departures of Billy Preston, Devonte' Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, adding an additional player — or two; KU remains in the hunt for five-star guard Romeo Langford — would put Kansas one player over the scholarship limit and create an interesting situation heading into the offseason.
There would, of course, be all kinds of options — not to mention time — for Self and company to figure out the numbers crunch. And with Lagerald Vick, Udoka Azubuike and Malik Newman all having been kicked around as potential early-departures and transfers always being an option, it's not hard to see how Kansas could make any scenario (adding one player, two players or no players) work, should the need arise.
Check back with KUsports.com Thursday afternoon for more on Agbaji's big announcement.