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Hawks of the Year Standings: Top 3 Become Clearer

Lawson, Dotson, Agbaji lead the way as most valuable Jayhawks

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Consistency hasn’t been much of a theme for Kansas players so far this season. Outside of mostly rock-steady Dedric Lawson, the Jayhawks have been up and down in their individual performances.

Lagerald Vick can go from red hot to disappearing for halves at a time. Marcus Garrett had a three-game stretch of great offense but has come back to Earth. Quentin Grimes continues on the freshman roller coaster. And Udoka’s lack of consistency has been in his ability to avoid injury and stay on the court, first with the ankle sprain and now the wrist.

This has been reflected in the Hawks of the Year Standings, where outside of Lawson at No. 1, it’s been a revolving door of players jumping up and sliding down the rankings. But just as how the Texas Tech statement win could be a turning point for this team (we’ll get a much better idea after Tuesday), the three most valuable Jayhawks are seeming to become more clear.

Most Valuable Jayhawks

Players whose skills and play most directly impacts the success of the team.

1 - Dedric Lawson (Last Week: 1)

Dedric is looking pretty comfortable shooting from the top of the key (aka the Perry Ellis special) and running the pick and roll. That could go a long way toward helping this offense maintain some stability.

2 - Devon Dotson (Last Week: 2)

Dotson was aggressive with his shot and going to the room, and did a good job finding teammates with four assists. And of course there’s the defense. Dotson had three steals, often leading to four-point swings in big possessions where Tech threatened to cut the lead to single digits.

3 - Ochai Agbaji (Last Week: HM)

Ochai is exactly what this team needs. He can play above the rim, he skies for rebounds, and his energy and effort are second to none. Turns out, his defense is solid, too. Agbaji did a pretty good Garrett impression slowing down Jarrett Culver on Saturday. Agbaji can do anything that’s needed, whether it’s scoring 20+ points or playing tough defense and grabbing boards.

Honorable Mention: Lagerald Vick, Marcus Garrett

Most Productive Jayhawks

Players who are putting up the best numbers for the Jayhawks.

1 - Dedric Lawson (Last Week: 1)

Lawson scored more points in a game than an entire top-25 team on Saturday. That’s a real thing that happened. And he did so while compiling another double double. Lawson is now averaging 19.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

2 - Devon Dotson (Last Week: 2)

Removing Udoka from consideration, Dotson is third on the team in points (11.1), fifth in rebounds (3.4), first in assists (3.4), and second in steals (1.5). Not bad for a freshman point guard.

3 - Lagerald Vick (Last Week: 3)

Vick is still averaging 14.5 points and four boards per game, even if it hasn’t been consistent. He shot the ball well from 3 against Tech, but what stood out more was his rebounding and passing. Saturday was Vick’s first game with 6+ rebounds, 2+ assist game since New Mexico State on Dec. 8.

Honorable Mention: Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji

Assets of the Week

1 - Team Passing

This year’s team is not known for its scoring off assists. Kansas ranks 151st in the country in assists this year. But against Tech, KU totaled 19 assists, which is only the sixth time this season the Jayhawks have recorded 19 or more in a game. And it led to a completely different offense.

2 - Agbaji’s Rebounding

No Udoka and no Silvio means this team is going to struggle to win the rebounding battle, especially in a four-guard lineup. That’s why Agbaji bringing down 17 rebounds in his last two games is a needed component of Kansas’ game plan.

3 - Lawson’s Interior Havoc

Dedric is not the best post defender, but he has made up for being outsized by causing turnovers. Lawson blocked two shots in each of the last two games, and also picked up three steals against Texas. Not only is he preventing high-efficiency shots, but these plays also lead the Jayhawks into transition, which is a strength of the team.