Udoka Azubuike wrapped up his final game at Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night the only way he knows how – with a bang.
The senior from Nigeria – who was questionable to play after spraining his ankle against KSU last Saturday – played 35 minutes and finished with a career-high 31 points. He also added 14 rebounds and 5 blocks, becoming just the fourth player in Big 12 history to finish with that stat line.
Last night Udoka Azubuike became the 4th player in Big 12 history with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks in a game & the first since Kevin Durant in 2007.
Last night was also the first time a senior had scored since more than 30 points since KU legend Danny Manning scored 31 in 1988.
It was a fitting end to what will be one of the better careers for a KU center in school history. Azubuike now has 1,054 points for his career, which would put him top 60 all-time in school history. He will likely finish in the top 50 after postseason play and who knows how much higher his records would have been had he been healthy all four years.
In fact, part of the reason why Azubuike was able to even have a Senior Night is because of the injuries.
Last season’s wrist injury prevented him from being able to go through workouts for NBA teams so he was able to do more conditioning and running to get in the best shape of his life and return for what has been a monster season.
In an era of one-and-done players and 3-point shooting big men, Udoka Azubuike is the unicorn of college basketball right now. He’s a traditional center who stayed all four years and yet is still up for several major awards.
He is all but a lock to be First Team All-Big 12. He’s on the short list for Big 12 Player of the Year and he was also just announced as a semifinalist for the Naismith Player of the Year Award alongside teammate Devon Dotson.
Coming back to school and staying all four years appears to be the best decision Azubuike could have made and it’s a prime reason why the Jayhawks may cut down the nets in Atlanta – which Azubuike revealed during his senior speech he has extra motivation to reach.
No matter what happens, Udoka Azubuike’s final performance at Allen Fieldhouse and career as a Jayhawk can both be summed up the same way – a slam dunk.
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