SALT LAKE CITY — Northeastern guard Shawn Occeus has fond memories of watching the NCAA Tournament as a kid. At the top of his list is former BYU star Jimmer Fredette.
Occeus said that Fredette’s college run was “special.” In 2011, Fredette scored 98 points over three games in leading the Cougars to the Sweet 16.
The Northeastern junior also mentioned Kemba Walker, who guided Connecticut to the 2011 NCAA title.
“I used to try and be like him,” Occeus said.
QUITE A JOURNEY: Freshman guard Ochai Agbaji has come on strong for Kansas. He’s made 14 consecutive starts and played in 20 games since being pulled out of a planned redshirt year on Jan. 9.
“It’s been crazy and came really fast. I remember when I was a redshirt on the bench and next thing I’m being called up to play,” said Agbaji, who averages 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds. “It’s happened in the space of a month. It happened really fast. I’m enjoying it, though.”
BUSINESS TRIP: Occeus made it clear that the Huskies traveled from Boston to Utah with a purpose.1 comment on this story
“We are taking in the sights and everything and being around the Jazz arena,” Occeus said. “And we came here to win some games, not just to take pictures and talk on the mic all day.”
TOUGH SEASON: For Kansas, it’s been quite a campaign. The Jayhawks saw their streak of Big 12 championships come to an end at 14. They lost junior center Udoka Azubuike to torn ligaments in his right hand after nine games. Sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa was ruled ineligible and senior guard Lagerald Vick opted for a leave of absence.
Despite it all, the Jayhawks have won 25 games.
“I think we’re capable of doing some great things in this tournament,” said Kansas coach Bill Self.