Evaluating Ochai Agbaji, Bryson Williams, and Christian Braun

January 24th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch Ochai Agbaji and Kansas play against Texas Tech in a tough Big 12 Conference basketball game.  It was a very competitive match that went to double overtime, and Agbaji turned in a really strong showing by scoring 37 points to lead his team to a well-deserved win at home.  For Texas Tech, their senior forward, Bryson Williams had a tremendous game, as he scored 33 points and had 13 rebounds, and he also made 4 threes in their team’s tough loss to Kansas.  Texas Tech’s other senior forward, Kevin Obanor also played very well, especially down the stretch.  Here are my thoughts on how Agbaji, Williams, Obanor, and other various prospects fared on this day.

Ochai Agbaji scored 37 points to help lead Kansas to a double overtime win over Texas Tech.
(Photo:
Nick Krug/KUSports.com)

Kansas’ senior swingman, Ochai Agbaji had a fantastic performance, as he had a tremendous all-around game in his team’s double overtime win over Texas Tech.  He’s a very athletic swingman that shot the ball very well, and he showed off impressive skills throughout the contest.  He also made 7 threes in this game, and it’s clear that he has really improved as a prospect, especially this year.

Agbaji did a tremendous job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  He did a great job of making spot-up threes, and he also would run off ball screens to make long-range jumpers quickly off the catch.  He also has a lot of range on his shot, and he also showed a knack for scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  He also was able to use a pump fake to score on a baseline, mid-range shot.

He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  Agbaji was able to score on a strong, right-handed drive to the hoop, and he can accelerate when he has a beeline to the rim.  He also would run hard off of ball screens to be able to get more room to operate off the dribble.  He also would contort his body and really sell the foul calls in order to draw fouls upon his defenders and get to the free throw line.  He did have some trouble creating his own shot off the dribble in the half court, as he would sometimes miss on contested, off-balanced shots, but Agbaji did a better job of moving off the ball and being aggressive to often get to the free throw line.  The only curious thing was that he really struggled to make his free throws, despite showing a tremendous ability to make his threes and score from the field.

Plus, he also ran off the ball to get the ball in the post, and Agbaji managed to score on a smooth, fadeaway jumper.  He also managed to catch a lob pass on a backdoor cut from the baseline after taking advantage of a napping defender, and he then scored on a thunderous alley-oop dunk after receiving a nice pass from his teammate.  He did miss a layup on the break once though, due to rushing.

Also, Agbaji showed off adequate playmaking skills.  He showed that he can pass off the dribble and in transition to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he also would set screens for them.  He threw a quick outlet pass to notch an assist on the break.  He also drove and threw an accurate lob pass to notch another.  He also showed a solid ability to make drive and kick passes to find the open man.  However, he would occasionally tend to step out of bounds after coming down with defensive rebounds.  He also had some trouble handling the ball in the half court when heavily pressured, as he doesn’t always recognize the help defender in time, and it led him to getting the ball stolen away from him on a drive once.

Adding to that, Agbaji also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball.  He would chase down defensive boards, and he would actively get them in this game.  He made a concerted effort in tracking down his rebounds in this contest.  He also played solid defense in this game.  Agbaji is an athletic, rangy defender that showed a knack for making smart plays when he was on the floor.  He rotated to block a shot off of a baseline drive.  He also managed to deflect a pass out of bounds another time.  He showed good feet and lateral quickness to stay in front of his man, and he would make good decisions and take good angles to defend opponents out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses. 

In a game where Texas Tech had two potent scoring options on the court, Agbaji played it smart, and he did a good job of giving bad shooters the space to shoot to tempt them to take threes that they cannot make, and he would actively contest shots inside the arc to get stops for his team.  By tempting bad shooters (McCullar specifically) to hoist up threes that they cannot make, this would lead his opponents to take bad shots, and it would take the ball out of the hands of Texas Tech’s two most effective scoring options in this specific game (which were Williams and Obanor).  There was one play where he was a bit inattentive though, as he was caught ball watching and trailed an opposing ball handler on a baseline drive, which led him to commit a reach-in foul.  Luckily for him, it was a non-shooting foul, so it didn’t really cost his team.

In general, Ochai Agbaji had a tremendous, all-around showing in his team’s double overtime win over Texas Tech.  He played very well, and he is a big-time athlete that excelled as a sharpshooter, and he also threw down a ferocious alley-oop dunk off of a backdoor cut in this game.  He will still need to continue to improve his ball-handling skills, but it’s clear he’s really improved in all aspects of the game.  He would likely be a good pick for an NBA team in the 2022 draft, and he is a talented prospect that could get selected in the lottery to the mid first round range this year.

Texas Tech’s Bryson Williams had a tremendous game, as he scored 33 points in his team’s tough, double OT loss to Kansas.
(Photo:
Ed Zurga/Getty Images, via Houston Chronicle)

Texas Tech’s 6-8 senior forward, Bryson Williams had the game of his life, and the sixth-year senior really put himself on the map as a draft prospect by scoring 33 points and hauling down 13 rebounds in his team’s double OT loss to Kansas.  In a game where Texas Tech badly needed scoring (and stops), especially with their relatively, highly rated draft prospect Terrence Shannon Jr. clanking jumpers left and right, Bryson Williams proved to be a dependable, reliable scorer that did a great job of knocking down threes and scoring on strong post moves in this game.

Williams did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  To put it bluntly, he was unstoppable in this game, and his team should’ve done everything they could to get the ball in his and Obanor’s hands in crunch time.  Moreover, Texas Tech probably should’ve benched Terrence Shannon Jr. for his inability to shoot or score in the half court, and for chucking up some bad, contested shots along the way.

In this game, Williams showed a knack for scoring on open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he even made a bank three late in this contest.  He also did a very good job of scoring in the post. He often would make strong moves to the hoop, and he has good strength and shooting touch that would enable him to score often on turnaround jump hooks.  He would often overpower his defenders, and he had a deft shooting touch that allowed him to consistently score around the basket.

Plus, he also thrived as a scorer on hustle plays.  He also ran the floor and made a tough catch to haul in a lob pass, and Williams then scored on a strong layup afterwards.  Also, Williams managed to score on a roll to the rim while drawing an extra free throw on that play.  He also utilized a spin move to score on a tough, baseline drive.  Adding to that, Williams was able to face up and score on a step-back mid-range jumper from the baseline.  While he’s not overly fast, he’s a strong, physical forward that is crafty with his dribble moves, and his ability to make shots from anywhere on the court allowed him to score early and often throughout this contest.

As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average.  He looked to score quite often, but he was very effective as a scorer in this game.  He also showed that he can pass out of the post, and he also threw an accurate, high entry pass to notch an assist.  Every once in a while though, he would commit careless turnovers.  When posting up once, he was called for a traveling violation.  He also threw a hasty pass that got intercepted another time.

Also, Williams did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  Sometimes though, he would be too aggressive in trying to make plays, which would lead him to foul opponents on put backs.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to defend in one-on-one situations.  He would occasionally struggle to defend quicker players, and sometimes his lack of size would make it difficult for him to defend in the post.  He also was a bit late to try to block a shot in the paint once, as he committed a goal-tend late in this game.

In summary, Bryson Williams had a tremendous game, and he really put himself on the map as a prospect in the 2022 draft.  He is a strong, mobile forward that showed a knack for shooting and scoring the basketball, especially in crunch time.  He has proven to be a very valuable role player that can be relied upon to score, especially in college basketball. 

However, at the NBA level, it may be unclear as to how well Williams would adjust to that level.  Teams don’t normally run post-ups for undersized power forwards, and Williams doesn’t tend to take enough threes on offense.  He also didn’t appear to stand out as a playmaker or defender, so a defensive coach might not be inclined to play him at the NBA level.  Most likely, Williams’ role in the NBA will be that he will have to adjust to being a 3 and D type of player at that level one day.  He is a skilled college player that could adjust and he has shown the mental toughness to be able to adapt to the NBA game one day, so he could be a player worth having in a training camp or preseason roster, as his competitiveness and ability to compete in big games could enable him to make his way to the NBA someday.

Kansas’ Christian Braun played well in his team’s double overtime win over Texas Tech.
(Photo:
Nick Krug/KUsports.com)

Christian Braun had a satisfactory showing in his team’s double overtime win over Texas Tech.  He is a skilled, mobile swingman that passed and defended well, and he was able to make some solid plays on both ends of the floor.  He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but he did everything else well in this game. Braun generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for scoring on backdoor cuts, in transition, as well as off of tip-ins.  Sometimes, he would take tough shots that would result in misses, but he also showed that he can draw fouls to get to the free throw line when the officials would call the foul.

He also did a satisfactory job of scoring off the dribble. Braun was able to get the ball in the mid-post, and he drove hard to the hoop to score on a crafty, double pump layup.  He struggled to knock down his outside shots though.  He did make an open, spot-up three off the catch, but he really had trouble trying to score on threes or mid-range jumpers against Texas Tech.

Also, Braun showed off solid playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he can throw crisp, accurate interior passes to notch assists.  He was able to find cutters to notch assists, and he also threw a lob to help a teammate score on an alley-oop dunk.  He also would patiently make drive and kick passes to find open shooters.  Sometimes though, he would telegraph his passes, as a couple of them ended up getting intercepted.  Another time, he was called for a charging foul while trying to pass off of a drive.

Also, he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Braun especially showed a knack for crashing the glass to get offensive boards for his team.  He also played good defense in this game.  He did a great job of contesting outside shots to force misses, and he really put the clamps down on Terrence Shannon Jr., as he often got him to miss threes early and often.  Braun especially excelled at contesting jumpers to get stops for his team, and he also managed to catch a deflected pass to help his team get a steal another time.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to defend opponents in one on one situations, and he would occasionally get outmuscled by stronger players on those plays.  There was another time where he and a teammate didn’t get out on shooters, which led his team to give up a three-point basket.

Overall, Christian Braun played a smart, sound team-oriented basketball game to help Kansas get a well-deserved double OT win over Texas Tech.  Though he didn’t particularly shoot the ball well from the outside, he did everything else well, and he made timely passes and was able to get key defensive stops to help his team throughout the contest.  Braun is a player that may not visually stand out on the surface, but his ability to consistently make sound plays on both ends of the court could enable him to be a solid second round pick for an NBA team in the 2022 draft.

Also, Texas Tech’s senior forward, Kevin Obanor played very well in his team’s double overtime loss to Kansas.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, played well on both ends of the floor, and he especially thrived as a scorer in the post in this game. Obanor did a very good job of scoring in the post.  He would often score on turnaround jumpers and right handed jump hooks, and he is a strong, mobile forward that has good strength and the shooting touch to score frequently around the basket.  He can use spin moves and pump fakes to get open, and he also would absorb the contact to get to the free throw line.

He also excelled at scoring on off-ball motion plays.  He showed a knack for scoring in transition as well as on put backs, and he is an energetic player that can beat his man down court to get opportunities to score on fast breaks.  He also showed some shooting skills, and Obanor was able to make an open, spot-up three off of a pick and pop play. He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Obanor was active at crashing the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he also would help his team get second chance points after getting offensive rebounds for his team.  Sometimes though, he would commit over the back fouls when going for offensive boards due to over-aggressiveness.

Plus, he also defended well.  Obanor did a great job of blocking shots in the paint due to possessing good timing, motor, and instincts.  He would actively contest shots inside the arc to help his team force misses.  On the other hand, there was one play where he over-helped and over-hedged onto a pick and roll ball handler, but he and another teammate were too late to rotate back to a roll man, which led his teammate to commit the foul that time.

Overall, Kevin Obanor thrived at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he really helped himself by having a strong showing in this game.  He’ll need to trust his outside shot more, and he’s not an overwhelming athlete, but he is a smart, skilled combo forward that continually made good plays throughout this contest, and he could project into a 3 and D type of role off the bench for an NBA team at the next level.

Jalen Wilson had his ups and downs in his team’s double overtime win over Texas Tech.  He’s an athletic, energetic forward that was able to make some hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, but he also didn’t shoot well, and made his fair share of defensive mistakes in this game. Wilson did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He was able to drive hard to his left before using a ball fake to spin right, and he managed to score off the glass.  He can also draw fouls upon his defenders on straight-line, right-handed drives to frequently get to the free throw line.  On the downside, sometimes he would overtly try to force the issue and rush his shots, which would lead him to miss wildly, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

He also was active as a scorer on off-ball motion plays.  Wilson would crash the glass to get offensive rebounds, and he was able to score on a tip-in.  On the downside, sometimes he would rush his shots on put backs, cuts, and rolls to the rim, which would lead to misses.  He also showed a semblance of the jump shot that he used to have, as he was able to pull up to knock down a mid-range jumper from the baseline.  However, he missed on all of his three-point attempts, and he has continued to struggle mightily to knock down threes from beyond the arc.

Plus, Wilson also displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  He is an unselfish player that can pass and handle the basketball, and he would make accurate drive and kick passes to find the open man.  On the downside, he can sometimes struggle to make quick decisions on the court.  On one play, he received the ball on a backdoor cut, but he waited too long, and had the ball stolen away from him.  He also tried to fit an entry pass into tight windows, but ended up having the ball intercepted another time.

Also, Wilson did a great job of rebounding the basketball, and he was especially active at crashing the defensive glass.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Wilson is an athletic, help defender that will play passing lanes and apply ball pressure to try to force turnovers.  He was able to get his hands on passes to get numerous steals, and he also poked a ball away another time.  He also would contest shots both out on the perimeter as well as in the paint to get stops for his team.  On the downside, sometimes he would be late to rotate, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would struggle to defend opponents in one-on-one situations, and he would commit reach-in fouls as a result.

Overall, Jalen Wilson had his ups and downs in his team’s double overtime win over Texas Tech.  He didn’t shoot the ball well, but he fared much better in the non-shooting or scoring related elements of the game.  He will really need to improve his jump shot, but he could be a prospect to watch sometime in the future.

Davion Warren played fairly well in this game.  He’s an athletic, energetic swingman that thrived as a shooter and scorer against Kansas.  He did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He would run the floor and then draw free throws on strong drives in transition, and he also managed to score on a put back.  He did miss on a high-flying dunk attempt off of a backdoor cut, but it would’ve been a highlight reel-worthy play if he was able to throw that one down.

Also, he shot the ball well when he elected to hoist up outside shots.  He did a decent job of scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he looked to be comfortable in taking shots from that range.  Warren also managed to knock down a wide-open three off the catch.  He didn’t seem to be nearly as comfortable in taking threes though, so he will need to trust his outside shot more in the future. He also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble, as well as in the post.  Warren managed to score on a quick, left-handed drive.  He also had a dunk blocked on a baseline drive another time, though.  He also was able to draw free throws after taking a fadeaway jumper from the post.

Also, Warren showed off perhaps above average playmaking skills in this game.  He is an unselfish player that can throw accurate interior passes to find his teammates on the move to notch assists, and he will usually look to find the open man.  Sometimes though, he would drive too recklessly to the hoop, which would lead him to commit charging fouls.

He also was able to haul in rebounds on both ends of the floor to help chip in on the glass.  Defensively, Warren looked to be about average at best.  On one good play, he managed to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive.  However, he tend to be late on his rotations and struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to give up open jumpers and to commit fouls. 

Overall, Davion Warren had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He’s an athletic swingman that can shoot and score the basketball, but he will need to trust his jump shot more, and look to play more under control on both ends of the floor.  He may have to spend at least a season or two in the G-League or overseas, but his athleticism and scoring skills could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Kansas’ 6-7 freshman forward, K.J. Adams played very well off the bench in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He ran the floor to score on the break, and he managed to get an extra free throw afterwards.  He also ran in to get an offensive rebound and he proceeded to score on a quick tip-in. 

Overall, Adams thrived at scoring on off-ball motion plays, and he also excelled as an offensive rebounder in this game.  He will need to improve his jump shot and perimeter skills on offense, but he is an athletic, high-motor player that could project into a defensive specialist role in the NBA someday.

Remy Martin played reasonably well for a player that didn’t shoot the ball well nor play at all late in the second half, or in either of the overtimes.  While he’s been recovering from a nagging minor knee injury, Martin passed and defended well when he was on the court. He did an adequate job of scoring off the dribble.  He showed a knack for scoring on quick, aggressive drives to the hoop, and Martin is a crafty finisher that can use his blend of agility, body control, and balance to score on tough layups around the basket.  He did tend to have his shots blocked off the dribble at other times.  He didn’t take many outside shots, but he missed a mid-range floater once.

Also, Martin showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that can throw crisp, accurate interior passes to consistently find his teammates on the move.  He also threw a swift, no-look interior pass to notch an assist on the break.  On the downside, he would sometimes be inaccurate with his passes, as a couple of them ended up going out of bounds. Plus, he also rebounded the ball well when he was on the court.  Also, Martin defended very well in this game.  He pressured an opposing ball handler to force an opponent to commit a traveling violation.  He also showed a knack for successfully drawing charges when defending opposing ball handlers to get stops for his team.

Overall, Remy Martin is still recovering from a knee injury, but he showed smarts, skills, and grit to help lead his team to get the win.  He’ll still need to make a full recovery, and he’ll need to shoot the ball better from the outside, but Martin is an agile point guard that may have the skills to make his way to the NBA someday.

David McCormack played fairly well in his team’s double OT win over Texas Tech.  He is a strong, mobile center that thrived as a low post scorer when he was on the floor.  McCormack showed a solid ability to score in the post.  He would often score on powerful dunks when left open around the basket.  He also used a drop step move to score on a left-handed hook shot.  He also would back down his man and utilize powerful moves to draw fouls in order to get to the free throw line. Plus, McCormack showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He managed to score on a backdoor cut, and he drew free throws on rolls and put backs.  On the other hand, he did take an open mid-range shot, but he missed that time.  Also, McCormack passed the ball well out of the post, and he has shown improved passing skills recently.

Also, he was fairly active in crashing the glass to rebound the basketball, and he especially excelled as an offensive rebounder.  On the downside, there was one play where he dropped a ball on a defensive rebound attempt clumsily, and he ended up fouling his opponent on a put back.  He also struggled defensively, though.  On one good play, he was able to hold his ground when defending in the post to force a miss.  However, he would often give up too much space to shooters, which would lead him to allow score to them.  Other times, he would be a bit too late to make plays in the paint, as he committed a reach-in foul in the post once, and he also committed a goaltend on a mid-range shot another time.

Overall, David McCormack had a decent showing in his team’s win in this game.  He especially excelled as an inside scorer when he was on the floor, but he will need to extend his shooting range, as well as improve his ability to defend quicker players on the floor.  Currently, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2022 draft, and in a favorable scenario, he could compete for a backup center role in the NBA someday.

I was looking forward to watch Terrence Shannon Jr. play against Kansas, especially since he has returned from a back injury, and he also played very well in his team’s win over West Virginia recently.  Unfortunately, Shannon did not play well at all against Kansas, and he shot the ball poorly in his team’s double overtime loss.  He often took bad shots, and his penchant for taking quick, contested shots seemed to take the ball away from his more effective teammates, Williams and Obanor in this game.

On the plus side, Shannon showed off a decent ability to score off the dribble.  He was proficient at driving hard to his left, and he was able to score around the basket.  He also showed that he can use either hand to go hard to the hoop in order to draw fouls in order to get to the free throw line.  Shannon didn’t seem to be a particularly crafty nor skilled ball handler, as he didn’t really look to change directions too often, but he is a strong, athletic driver that would put his head down and barrel his way to the hoop to draw fouls upon his defenders.  On the downside, he can sometimes force the issue too much, and his approach would lead to wild, aggressive misses when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

He also really struggled to knock down jumpers in this game.  Shannon missed all of his threes and mid-range jumpers, and he proved to be a liability on offense, especially when he would hoist up outside shots in this match.  On the other hand, Shannon showed early on that he can score on hustle plays.  He did manage to sprint down court to catch a long pass to draw free throws once.  On the other hand, he also missed on an alley-oop layup despite catching a lob pass on the break, due to rushing.  On the downside, Shannon didn’t put his athleticism to use enough on offense, and he didn’t get any opportunities to score off of cuts or put backs.

Also, Shannon is an unselfish player that showed off adequate playmaking skills.  He would swing balls to shooters to set up scores for them, and he can throw crosscourt passes to get them the basketball.  However, he would sometimes throw hasty, inaccurate passes, and he threw one long inaccurate outlet pass that sailed out of bounds.  In addition, he really struggled to create his own shot or to score in the half court in this game, which could be problematic, especially if he cannot score against upper echelon defenders on a consistent basis.

Even more frustrating, was while Shannon was able to get a board on each end of the floor, he only hauled in a pair of rebounds total, which is not nearly enough rebounds for someone that is hailed to be as athletic as he is.  There also may be a concern that maybe Shannon may have lost a step or two athletically from the back injury he suffered recently, because his rebounds, steals, and blocks numbers are down pretty much all across the board.  While he’s still drawing free throws at a reasonably solid rate, his free throw line rate is also down compared to his previous seasons.

That said, Shannon still played decent defense in this game, in my opinion.  He is an active and aggressive help defender that would look to help his team challenge shots and force turnovers.  He rotated to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also intercepted a pass to get another.  He also managed to block a corner three another time.  He showed a knack for successfully challenging corner threes.  He also managed to stay with his man and deny his opponent the ball late in this game on another possession.  On the downside, he would struggle to stay in front of his man at times, and he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would be late to defend screens, which would lead him to be slightly out of position when defending opponents on drives.

Overall, Terrence Shannon Jr. did not play very well at all in his team’s loss to Kansas.  Perhaps he might not be fully healthy, as he didn’t look to be nearly as athletic nor explosive as he had looked in his previous games, but he also didn’t shoot well, and he tended to take rushed, contested shots in the process.  His inability to shoot the basketball really hurt his team, to the point where it was questionable if he even should’ve been on the floor in crunch time. 

Shannon will really need to work on his jump shot, and he will need to prove that he can be a reliable scorer and player in a half-court offense.  His draft stock seems to be falling right now, and he just hasn’t been healthy or nearly as productive as he had been last season.  Currently, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2022 draft, but he will have to significantly improve as a shooter to be able to get meaningful playing time in the NBA one day.

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