Thoughts on Ochai Agbaji’s Strong Performance in the 2021 State Farm Champions Classic

November 10th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday was the Champions Classic, and it was a showdown between Kansas and Michigan State.  Kansas was expected to win, and they were able to deliver a double-digit victory in this tournament.  Ochai Agbaji had a dominant showing, as he scored 29 points to help his team get the victory on this day.

Kansas’ senior guard, Ochai Agbaji was superb in his team’s win over Michigan State, and he scored 29 points in this game.
(Photo:
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

Ochai Agbaji put forth a fantastic performance to help his team get the victory over Michigan State.  He did a tremendous job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he had a superb all-around showing in this game.  Agbaji did a great job of knocking down threes, and he was able to make them both off the catch and dribble.  he showed a knack for making pull-up threes, and he also dribbled left off of a screen to make a deep three once.

Agbaji also showed his trademark ability to score on hustle plays.  He thrived as a scorer on the break, and he would often throw down eye-popping, highlight reel-worthy dunks.  He drove in transition to score on a high-flying jam.  He also ran the floor and aught a lob to score on an alley-oop dunk.  He also caught a lob off of a cut to score on another alley-oop dunk.  The most impressive element of his strong performance was his much-improved, ball-handling.  Agbaji was able to utilize an impressive, behind-the-back dribble to draw free throws on a fast break dunk attempt. 

His improved ball-handling skills were clearly on display, because he did a good job of scoring off the dribble.  Agbaji was particularly effective at driving to his left to score, as he was able to score on a crafty layup, and he used a hesitation move to score another time.  He also showed a knack for going to his right to draw fouls in order to get to the free throw line.  Agbaji’s improved handles and ability to score off the dribble could really open things up for him offensively, and he was pretty much unguardable in this game. Agbaji also showed off decent playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man.  He didn’t technically commit a turnover, though there was one play where he struggled to get the ball inbounds, as he wasn’t able to find an open teammate, and he ended up committing a 5-second violation that led to a team turnover.

While he didn’t grab many rebounds, Agbaji was able to get a pair of defensive boards in this game.  He also played good defense.  Agbaji showed a knack for intercepting passes to get steals, and he would quickly turn them into fast break points the other way.  He also dove for a loose ball to nearly get a steal another time.  He also did a good job of contesting outside shots to force misses.

In general, Ochai Agbaji had a terrific showing in his team’s win over Michigan State.  He looks to be a much better player than how he’s looked in previous years, and he could make a real run to be a lottery pick for the 2022 draft, especially if he keeps playing well.  Agbaji played really well in this game, and he has the skills to be a solid player in the NBA.

Remy Martin scored 15 points and had 6 rebounds in Kansas’ win over Michigan State.
(Photo:
Emma Pravecek/UDK, via University Daily Kansan)

Remy Martin had a solid showing in his team’s win over Michigan State.  He was especially effective as a shot maker in the second half, and showed off versatile scoring skills in this game. Martin showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Martin showed a knack for scoring on those types of plays, and he also used a spin move to score on a fadeaway jumper after getting the ball in the high post.  He also ran off of a ball screen to make a deep three to show off his shooting skills.

He also showed off decent playmaking skills.  Martin is an unselfish player that can make accurate passes off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates.  On the downside, he would sometimes over-dribble, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers, and he also threw a jump pass that got intercepted another time. Plus, Martin also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played adequate defense in this game.  Martin was able to successfully draw a charge when defending in transition.  However, he got beat off the dribble another time, which put his team in a scramble situation and it led them to allow a score on that possession.

Overall, Remy Martin played fairly well, and he especially thrived at making plays on offense down the stretch to help his team get the win.  He’ll be a key player for his team this season, and if things pan out for him, he could end up being a second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Michigan State’s sophomore guard, A.J. Hoggard scored 17 points and dished out 4 assists in his team’s loss to Kansas.
(Photo:
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press, via The Oakland Press)

A.J. Hoggard played very well in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He had a terrific showing off the bench, and he did a great job of shooting, scoring, and distributing the basketball.  He consistently did a good job of creating shots for his teammates, and he had a strong showing overall.

Hoggard did a good job of scoring off the dribble.  He would score on strong drives to the hoop, and he would consistently score on tough, crafty layups in traffic.  He also generally excelled at scoring on strong drives in transition.  He did have a couple of his shots blocked, but he was very effective at scoring when he would take the ball to the rim.  He also shot the ball well, as he was able to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper, and he also made a spot-up three another time.

Also, he showcased satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Hoggard is a patient playmaker that can make drive and kick passes, and he can find teammates on the move.  Sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.  He also had a ball poked away as he lost it on a drive another time.  He also was able to chip in on the glass, and he was able to get a pair of defensive rebounds.  He also played solid defense, and he would poke balls away to help his team get steals and deflections.

Overall, A.J. Hoggard had a strong showing in this game, and this was a major step forward in his development as a prospect for the NBA.  He proved that he can step up to be a reliable player for his team this season, and if he can keep playing well this season, he could end up being a second round pick in the 2022 draft.

Max Christie had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He started out playing well, but he struggled with his shot and with turnovers as the game wore on.  For the positives, he did a good job of shooting on the move, and Christie was very effective at scoring on quick, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also managed to draw free throws on a backdoor cut to the hoop.  He was much less effective as a scorer from inside the arc, and he had trouble consistently scoring off the dribble.

He also was fairly turnover prone on offense.  He threw an inaccurate pass that got intercepted once.  He also stepped out of bounds after running off of a ball screen to get it another time.  He also was able to get several defensive boards to help his team out on the glass.  He also would actively contest jumpers to help his team force some misses.  Overall, Max Christie is an agile, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball.  He’ll need to improve his shot selection, but he will likely be a key player for his team, and the success of Michigan State could hinge on whether or not if he plays well this season.

Gabe Brown had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He excelled at knocking down threes, as he was able to do so both off the catch and dribble.  He shot the ball well, and he also ran off of a ball screen to make a mid-range jumper.  He also ran the floor to score in transition.  He didn’t take enough shots in this game, but he was effective as a shooter and scorer on offense.  On the downside, there was one play where he committed a charging foul when he got the ball on the break that led to an offensive foul and a turnover.

Though he didn’t get many rebounds in this game, he was able to get a pair of defensive boards for his team.  Brown also played decent defense.  He would poke balls away to get steals.  On the downside, he would sometimes over-help in the paint, and it led him to be late to rotate back or to contest the shot, and he allowed his man to score on a three-point shot.

Overall, Gabe Brown is a very athletic forward that was fairly effective as a shooter and scorer on offense.  He’ll need to be more assertive on offense, but he could be an intriguing prospect to watch if he can continue to play well this season.

Zach Clemence played well in limited minutes in this game.  He was especially effective as an offensive player, but he also was extremely foul prone.  Clemence is a skilled, mobile stretch big that showed off versatile scoring skills.  He made a deep three to show his shooting prowess, and he also scored on a roll to the rim. 

He also was able to get a defensive rebound.  Defensively, he was perhaps above average.  He would intercept passes to get steals.  On the downside, he would be too aggressive in trying to contest shots and go for steals, which would lead him to be very foul prone.  Overall, Clemence is a talented player that could be an intriguing prospect to watch in the future, especially if he can continue to play well this season.

Julius Marble II also had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He is a strong, mobile big man that was very effective as a scorer in the post and on hustle plays.  He also managed to score on a right-handed drive to the hoop.  On the downside, he also was fairly turnover prone, as he dribbled off his foot out of bounds when posting up once, and he also dropped a pass out of bounds another time.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Marble played adequate defense in this game.  He was able to block a shot off of a drive.  On the downside, he was caught on a switch, and allowed his man to score on a three-point shot another time.  Overall, he played well for his team off the bench, and he could be a reliable low post scorer for his team this season.

Joey Hauser had an uneven performance in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He played fairly well early on.  He was able to score on a fadeaway put back, and on a tip-in.  He also did an adequate job of making spot-up threes on offense.  On the downside, he struggled to score off the dribble, and he didn’t take many shots in general.  He also passed the ball well, but he committed a charging foul on a drive another time.

He did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average.  He would deflect passes to nearly get steals.  On another play though, he didn’t effectively communicate to his teammate on a screen, and it led them to allow a score.  Overall, he is a skilled forward that can shoot and score the basketball, but he will need to be more assertive on offense in games, and he’ll need to be more consistent with his jump shot.

Marcus Bingham Jr. had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he also ran the floor to score on a thunderous dunk.  He did an adequate job of scoring in the post, but he also missed on all of his three-point shots, as he did not shoot well from the outside.  He was active as a rebounder and defender, but sometimes he would commit touch fouls due to over-aggressiveness.  Overall, he is an athletic, energetic big man that can make hustle plays on both ends of the floor, but he will need to improve his outside shot moving forward.

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