🏀 Ochai Agbaji Named a Naismith Trophy Finalist
ATLANTA – Kansas senior Ochai Agbaji has been named one of four finalists for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday. Agbaji is looking to become the third Jayhawk to win the James A. Naismith Trophy along with Danny Manning (1988) and Frank Mason III (2017).
Joining Agbaji as finalists are Johnny Davis (Wisconsin), Keegan Murray (Iowa) and Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky). Agbaji is the lone senior among the four and the lone finalist still playing in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this month, Agbaji earned what will be announced as Consensus All-America First Team by being collecting All-America first-team honors by the NABC, AP, The Sporting News and USBWA. Those four entities make up the collaboration of the consensus teams recognized by the NCAA. Agbaji is Kansas’ 31st all-time Consensus All-America First Team selection, which is more than any other school. He is the first Jayhawk to earn the honor since Devonte’ Graham in 2018.
On the 2022 Wooden Award Ballot, Agbaji was a Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player and an all-tournament selection in guiding Kansas to the tourney title earlier this month.
Agbaji, the 2022 Big 12 Player of the Year, leads the Big 12 and is 33rd nationally in scoring at 19.3 points per game. The Kansas City, Missouri, guard is second in the league in three-point field goal percentage (40.0%, 34th nationally) and in three-point field goals made per game (2.7, 53rd nationally).
A four-year starter for KU, Agbaji has etched his name into the Kansas records book. He holds the record for consecutive games of three-point field goals made at 53. He also ranks 16th on the KU career scoring list with 1,596 points, fourth on the three-point field goals made (241) and fourth on three-point field goals attempted (653).
The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, who based their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2020-22 college basketball season.
Once again, this year fans will have a say in the determining the winner. Starting March 22 fans can visit www.naismithfanvote.com or on Twitter (@MarchMadnessMBB and @naismithtrophy) to cast their ballot for one of these four Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy finalists. Voting ends at 5 p.m. CST on March 29 and fans are limited to one vote per day. The fan vote will account for 5% of the total vote.
The 2022 Naismith Trophy winner will be announced on Sunday, April 3, at the Naismith Awards Brunch in New Orleans.
Ranked No. 3 in both national polls, No. 1 seed Kansas (30-6) has advanced to its 32nd round of 16, 23rd Sweet 16, of the NCAA Championship. On Friday, March 25, KU will face No. 4 seed Providence (27-5) at the United Center in Chicago. The game will be televised on TBS with a 6:29 p.m. CST tip.
Ochai Agbaji 2021-22 Honors
Naismith Trophy Finalist
Consensus All-America First Team
USBWA All-America First Team
NABC All-America First Team
The Athletic All-America First Team
Associated Press All-America First Team
NABC All-District 8 First Team
Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player
Big 12 Championship All-Tournament
Naismith Player of the Year Semifinalist (1 of 10)
Bleacher Report All-America First Team
The Sporting News All-America First Team
SI.com All-America Second Team
Big 12 Player of the Year (Big 12 and AP)
All-Big 12 First Team (Big 12 and AP)
Wooden Award Final Ballot (1 of 15)
Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Finalist (1 of 5)
Academic All-Big 12 Second Team
co-Big 12 Player of the Week (2.21.22)
Naismith Player of the Year Midseason Team (1 of 30)
Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Watch List (top 10)
Big 12 Player of the Week (1.24.22)
The Sporting News Midseason All-American Second Team
Big 12 Player of the Week (1.17.22)
Big 12 Player of the Week (11.15.21)
Big 12 Player of the Week (11.15.21)
Wooden Award Preseason Top 50
Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 50)
NABC Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 20)
Preseason All-Big 12