Former KU star Ochai Agbaji avoids injury, while fellow Jayhawk Gradey Dick trends up

Former Kansas men’s basketball guard Ochai Agbaji of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, who fell hard on his hip after he was fouled on an alley-oop dunk try in a 145-101 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday in Toronto, avoided a serious injury, the team announced Friday.

Agbaji, a 6-foot-5 KU graduate out of Oak Park High School, suffered no broken bones after getting hit by New York’s Deuce McBride in mid-air, then tumbling to the floor. Agbaji landed on his right hip and suffered what the team called a hip contusion.

X-rays on Agbaji’s hip came back negative, the team indicated Friday. He practiced on the side on a limited basis Friday and will be held out of Sunday’s home game against Philadelphia, the team indicated.

“For a second it was really scary because he couldn’t move at all,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic told reporters after the loss to the Knicks.

On Friday, Rajakovic said, as quoted by “He’ll need a couple days to get back but he’s recovering well. Thank God it is not as serious as we thought. The MRI and everything came back negative. He’s just really, really sore right now.”

Agbaji, a 23-year old second-year pro, has averaged 6.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 21 games for Toronto, which acquired Agbaji in a recent trade with Utah. Agbaji had averaged 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 51 games with the Utah Jazz this season.

Agbaji played at KU from 2019 to 2022, winning a national title in 2022 as the NCAA Tourney’s most outstanding player.

Meanwhile, former KU guard Gradey Dick, also a member of the Raptors, scored a season-high 23 points against the Knicks on Wednesday.

Dick, a 6-foot-6 rookie from Wichita, has averaged 7.7 points per game on 42.3% shooting. He’s made 70 of 194 3s for 36.1%. Coming on strong of late, Dick has scored in double figures in eight games in March.

“The rookie has looked much more confident by playing freely, be it off the ball when getting to his spots or making the right play when the ball is in his hands. There’s a lot to like when dissecting Dick’s game, knowing much more will be extracted once he’s able to add weight and strength,” writes Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun.

“Long term, for the Raptors to be considered relevant again, a player such as Dick is best suited in a reserve role, ideally as the third wing option that will best unleash his 3-point threat. For those keen on delving into numbers, consider Dick has attempted 12 free throws in his past 14 games. Once added bulk gets attained, there’s no reason why Dick won’t be making more trips to the line, a sure sign that he isn’t settling for jumpers.

“On a fully healthy and more complete Raptors roster, Dick’s presence from the perimeter will force defenders to close out when Dick is spotting up. When shots are made, ball fakes will allow Dick to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim because he has shown a propensity for using the dribble.”