🏀 Ochai Agbaji Named Wooden Award Finalist
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Kansas senior Ochai Agbaji has been named one of five finalists for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year. The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the All-American Team and the five finalists Wednesday evening on ESPNU.
Agbaji becomes the 25th Jayhawk to be named a Wooden Award All-American all-time and the first since 2020, when Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson both earned the honor. Agbaji now seeks to become the third Kansas player to win the Wooden Award, joining Frank Mason III (2017) and Danny Manning (1988).
Joining Agbaji as finalists for the Wooden Award are Johnny Davis (Wisconsin), Keegan Murray (Iowa), Drew Timme (Gonzaga) and Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky). Agbaji is the lone finalist still competing in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. All five players have been invited to Los Angeles for the 46th annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s Gala.
Agbaji has already earned what will be announced as Consensus All-America First Team honors by collecting All-America first-team nods from 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.
Also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Agbaji was named the 2022 Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring and he enters the Final Four with an average of 18.9 points per game. He is second in the league in three-point field goal percentage (39.8%, 35th nationally) and third in three-point field goals made per game (2.6, 71st nationally). He was also named the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player and an all-tournament selection in guiding Kansas to the tourney title earlier this month.
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. The Kansas City, Missouri, native also ranks 16th on the KU career scoring list with 1,619 points, fourth on the three-point field goals made (243) and fourth on three-point field goals attempted (659).
The 46th annual John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s Men’s Player of the Year will be announced on Tuesday, April 5th on SportsCenter on ESPN. The John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s Gala will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, this year given to Rick Byrd. The Gala will take place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Friday, April 8th.
Kansas Wooden Award All-Americans
2022 – Ochai Agbaji
2020 – Udoka Azubuike, Devon Dotson
2018 – Devonte’ Graham
2017 – Frank Mason III (Wooden Award recipient), Josh Jackson
2016 – Perry Ellis
2014 – Andrew Wiggins
2013 – Ben McLemore
2012 – Thomas Robinson
2011 – Marcus Morris
2010 – Sherron Collins
2008 – Brandon Rush
2007 – Brandon Rush
2005 – Wayne Simien
2003 – Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich
2002 – Drew Gooden
1998 – Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce
1997 – Raef LaFrentz, Jacque Vaughn
1996 – Jacque Vaughn
1988 – Danny Manning (Wooden Award recipient)
1986 – Danny Manning