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It's rare to see a senior projected to go in the lottery of the NBA Draft these days, but Kansas star Ochai Agbaji has evolved his game into becoming one of the top prospects in the 2022 draft class.
It took all of eight minutes in Saturday's Final Four showdown against Villanova for Agb how much does a stephen curry jersey cost aji to display his growth as a player, firing away from 3-point land with his dramatically improved stroke from beyond the arc.
By the under-12 media timeout in the first half, Agbaji had already knocked down four 3-pointers, outscoring Villanova by himself with a 4-for-4 start from long range.
Agbaji had struggled to shoot in the first three games of the NCAA Tournament. He was 2-for-12 from 3 before the Elite Eight, where he finally got the lid off the rim against Miami. Agbaji went 2-for-2 from deep in an efficient 18-point game against the Hurricanes to help Kansas advance to the Final Four, and his hot hand clearly carried over onto a bigger and brighter stage.
Agbaji poured in 21 points on 6-of-7 shooting from 3-point range while playing high-level defense, giving NBA scouts a look at how he could excel in a 3-and-D role at the next level.
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At 21 years old, Agbaji is proof that a path to th NBA Hardwood Classicse NBA is still open even if you aren't a one-and-done player.
Agbaji went from a projected second-round pick, at best, during his first three years at Kansas, to a lock of an early first-rounder by the end of his senior season.
For one, he has polished his perimeter shooting every year in college, now looking like one of the most NBA-ready prospects this year.
World-renowned NBA scout Mike Schmitz even went as far as to say that Agbaji "could play 25+ minutes in an NBA game tomorrow."
But what is it about Agbaji's game that has him rising up Mock Draft boards?
Ochai Agbaji's strengths
At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, the Jayhawks star has all of the measurables of a physical, athletic and switchy wing at the NBA level. He always had the strength, speed and burst, and leaping ability of an NBA prospect but his skill was nba jerseys for kids stephen curry 7 lagging behind a bit, leaving his potential role as a pro in question.
That was until this season where Agbaji's relentless work to improve his perimeter shooting has c Ben Simmons ome to fruition. Now, he's looking like one o NBA Home and Office Supplies f the best 3-and-D prospects this year's draft class has to offer.
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Agbaji's growth as a shooter is extremely impressive, knocking down 3s at a higher clip on more attempts in each of his four seasons at Kansas.
Agbaji has a lightning-quick release on his jumper. He hardly brings the ball down when he receives a pass, making for a fast catch-and-shoot that gives defenders stephen curry jersey 2022 nba finals limited time to close out.
He's decisive on the catch, rarely hesitating before he fires away. He still has plenty of room to grow as a shot creator (and improving his ball-handling will help in that aspect). Here, Agbaji has done a nice job using his threat as a shooter to his advantage, attacking defenders who close out off-balance, slicing through defenses to get to the rim and finish.
He's getting to the free throw line more frequently than any other season of his college career (albeit still only 3.8 attempts per game) and his refined shooting stroke has translated to the charity stripe as well, making a much-improved 76.4 percent of his attempts.
Agbaji won't be asked to create much offense for himself at the NBA level, but proving he has the ability to make quick and intelligent reads when the ball is swung to him on the perimeter – knowing when to shoot it or put the ball on the floor and get to the basket – is a plus.
He's also very active off of the ball, always moving and cutting to try and find open spaces. He uses his quick-twitch athleticism to give his teammates passing lanes, elevating off the ground in a split second to catch lobs or finish dunks. His breakaway speed makes him a terror in transition, runni NBA Shorts ng lanes with a purpose to beat his opponents up the floor for easy baskets.
Agbaji's measurables, 3-point shooting and high motor will have him ready to make an impact at the NBA level immediately.
Ochai Agbaji's weaknesses
The biggest knock on Agbaji's game is that he isn't much of a shot creator. He's a simple ball-handler with a limited bag of reactionary moves to beat his defender off of the dribble in isolation.
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The same goes for his playmaking. Agbaji can make basic reads because he has a high IQ and processes the game qui warriors jersey signed ckly, but he won't wow you with his passing ability. He averaged 1.6 assists per game this season (which is also his career average at Kansas). He only had m NBA Finals Champs Gearore than three assists in three of his 38 games played this year and he's not much of an offensive initiator or pick-and-roll ball handler.
Unless he makes drastic improvements to his handle, Agbaji won't be much of a combo guard in the NBA, reducing his role to strictly a 3-and-D player.