Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ottawa’s Semi Ojeleye to visit Duke on May 31

Semi Ojeleye, Ottawa

Semi Ojeleye, Ottawa



Contributed photo

Semi Ojeleye, Ottawa

Ottawa High senior-to-be Semi Ojeleye will make an unofficial basketball recruiting visit to Duke on May 31, reports.

Ojeleye, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward who is ranked No. 37 nationally, has 11 schools on his current list. Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Kansas State, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Oregon have offered scholarships; Duke, Kansas and Indiana have not yet offered.

Ojeleye averaged 32.5 points a game this past season in leading Ottawa to a second-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament. He exploded for a career-high 50 points against Spring Hill.

“I’ll cut it down a little toward July,” Ojeleye told, referring to having a workable list.

“This is a blessing. You have to take it in stride,” the Mo-Kan Elite AAU player added of all the attention.

The brother of former Kansas State player Victor Ojeleye, Semi hit 18 of 37 three-pointers at the Boo Williams AAU Tournament in Hampton, Va.

“I’ve been playing pretty well,” Ojeleye told “I always want to keep working. I’m working on my consistency, playing hard.”

Of choosing a college, he said: “I’m looking for a great coach, and a place with high academics. You have to look for the best fit for you.”

Sasha’s team wins: Former KU center Sasha Kaun’s CSKA Moscow basketball team last week rolled to its 10th straight Russian PBL League championship, beating Khimki Moscow three games to none.

Kaun, a 6-11, 250-pounder from Tomsk, Russia, scored three points and grabbed six rebounds while playing 12 minutes in the 90-75 title-clinching Game Three victory. For the season, Kaun averaged 4.3 points and 2.0 rebounds while logging 11 minutes a game. CSKA Moscow played the final two games without Euroleague MVP Andrei Kirilenko.

Mum’s the word: Still no word from former South Carolina forward Damontre Harris, who will transfer to either KU or Florida. The 6-9, 225-pound junior-to-be from Fayetteville, N.C., had hoped to decide by now.

“I don’t have any news to report right now,” his mom, Sheronda Harris, told “I’m still waiting (for Damontre’s decision).”


Alohahawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Sorry for the double post above. I seem to be having problems posting today. My first post was too long and would not go through, and when I tried to edit it, it appeared twice (?) And I keep having to type in my password each time I want to post. Anyway, I've tried to add my thoughts on Ojeleye twice, and it's been canceled out, so this is my 3rd attempt. Talented or not, as pointed out by other posters above, KU doesn't have the need for someone at Semi's position, even if McLemore proves good enough and jumps to the league after one season. And, with some recruits, "Once an anti-Jayhawk, always one." It might be true about Semi, and I think that's what happened with Cauley. (ie. If I'd been offered a scholarship to K-State, I would have turned it down. If talented enough, I may have gone elsewhere, but not K-State. Even though one of my sisters and mom were die-hard Wildcat fans. As it was, I was almost dis-owned!) As for home-grown talent, just because a recruit grows up in Kansas, doesn't mean they fit as a Jayhawk, and especially, that they are talented enough. Witness all the homies who try out each year for a walk-on position and don't make the cut. A recruit earns a scholarship for his virtues and abilities, not for his home-grown rights. And as for walk-ons, they are a whole different category - of abilities, but probably moreso, inner connections.


bennybob 1 year, 11 months ago

If we end up going after this kid, great! ill never turn away a nice wing prospect. but i think the focus should be on landing bigs.

at this point i would trade the possibility of signing every single one of the guards we're recruiting if it guaranteed a commit from Chris Walker or Julius Randle.

Up until now the only one and done experiemts Self has played with have been Xavier Henry and Josh Selby, two GUARDS! WTF!

it just seems so counter intuitive to me that a coach who runs his whole offense through the post wouldn't want to run that offense with the most elite post players in the country.

there's no reason KU shouldn't be to bigs what UK is to point guards. Self has proven he can take above average athletes and get them to the league. imagine what he could do with bonafide NBA star level talent!

i'm not in favor of becoming another UK and bringing in 4-5 OADs a year. but i do think we should be bringing in a top 5 post player year in and year out and then use the rest of the schollies on those "program builders" type of player we all love.


Adam Gerval 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, along the lines of hating on Mizery, I heard this the other day....What's the difference between an MU cheerleader and a catfish? One smells really bad and has whiskers...the other one is a fish!


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 11 months ago

Too long without a Semi poke.

The toll (on the turnpike) going to Manhattan is pretty high for a semi. Get it, the toll for going to Manhattan rather than Lawrence is high.

Ok, it's been a long day.


Wisconsin2Kansas 1 year, 11 months ago

I'd much rather sign Milton Doyle opposed to D Harris.


BrockIII 1 year, 11 months ago

The apparent lack of interest in Ojeleye has to come down to how loaded KU now appears at the wing. The priority right now is point guard/combo guard - maybe down the road the primary ballhandler is Adams, Frankamp or Tharpe, but that's not settled yet.

My guess is that the staff is taking a very close look at Barber and Ennis and possibly still Freeman. At this point, Ojeleye would have a lot of competition ahead of him at the wing. KU already is loaded with athletic wings that can shoot.


Jesse Johnson 1 year, 11 months ago

Do the LJW editors not realize that there are KU basketball fans all over the country that visit this website that are unfamiliar with Kansas geography? When I read Ottawa, I was thinking Ottawa, Canada and was totally confused as to why this was headline news that this kid whom we are not even recruiting was visiting Duke. I was still confused after reading the article. Thank you fellow posters for doing their job in pointing out that Ottawa is a Kansas town about 15 miles from Lawrence.


matlockhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Do I shoot, or do I pass? Do I shoot, or do I pass? Hmmmm.... Wait!!! Five seconds!?! What does that mean? lol DaMontre, Kansas is college basketball. You will be loved here!!


Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 11 months ago

He's visited KU....unofficially, (which just means he pays) and now he'll unofficially visit Duke. Neither school has offered him. This is just is what it is.

HCBS already has a commitment from two kids for this class...and one of them is in the same category as Mr. Ojeleye. With McLemore and White on the roster already, does he really need another three? I don't think so. And we haven't offered James Young either....and he's listed in the top 10.

this is no big deal that we haven't offered him.....look who has: K-State and Mizzou. So we may go head to head to head vs. local schools on a kid that might not see the floor his first two years here? Doesn't sound plausible to me.

It'll play out just fine....we all need to let it take its course, which includes the LJW....a little breathless on this story, and it's not necessary.


bradynsdad 1 year, 11 months ago

A little off topic here but I am still amazed we didn't get Tarc. I have been to Tucson and it is by far one of the ugliest places in the world. Maybe the woman are good looking but there are plenty of good looking woman at colleges (except mizzou). Is Miller the next Cal? What really stinks is Tarc doesn't want to be a one and done, he wants stay stay in college a few years. I do have faith that Lucas, peters,Ellis and trayor will all be good I am just still baffled by Tarcs decision. There is no reason Arizona shouldn't have made the tournament last year, they were a stacked good team. Sometimes I wonder if kids even think about who the good coaches are or if it's just about money and playing time.


William Blake 1 year, 11 months ago

Semi has talent, no question. I guess it comes down to a few factors not mentioned:

  1. Style of basketball - does Semi max-out his potential playing in a CS system? Is there a perfect spot for him on the team that was taylor-made to fit him?

  2. Risk - Semi hasn't played much ball against the top high school talent. Does he have to tweak upward his game more than other recruits who come from playing better competition day in and day out? If so... there must be a risk that he won't meet expectations at the D1 level.

Success in D1 is more than recruiting top talent. The pieces have to fit together...

I like Semi and think he has great potential. He should go wherever he can succeed the most possible. If he wants to earn a diploma, academics should be part of his decision.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

It's all about the haircut...he really is only 6'-2" tall!!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

justanotherfan said of Ojeleye: "He would dominate any level of HS basketball."

Really? I always love those sort of unsupported comments. I don't know if he's seen the teams Ottawa plays, but what you're talking about mainly are small schools, rural, etc. Poor competition, generally. Eudora, Osawatomie, Louisburg. Weak league. Mediocre basketball at best.

Ojeleye was not the best player in the state last year. Ellis was. Ellis played real competition at the H.S. level -- for Kansas. And there is an argument to be made that others were better at the H.S. level than Ojeleye, given the competition. Clayton Custer being one. Frankamp another.

But being the best player in Kansas doesn't mean anything. His ranking in the 30s shows that he has national respect and is a player worthy of recruiting. You don't get there by accident.

However, Self avoids/waits on certain guys for a reason. I am quite sure there is a good reason he hasn't made an offer. konkeyDong offers one possible explanation. My hunch is that Self has his figurative or literal "big board" and this guy is lower on Self's llist than his rivals ranking. Nothing sinister or negligent.

And unlike what happened with Kaleb Tarczewski, there is no indication that Self is disregarding the next tier of prospects in favor of focusing on the one top guy.

What we absolutely do not want is Self recruiting kids because they are from Kansas, or taking a lesser player because he happens to live here. Give me that shooter from Alaska, or some twins from Philly, or the beast from Jersey. I'll skip the Kansas kids .. unless they are really good and fit with what coach Self wants to do. We don't need to protect our borders here.

Also, if he is truly wanting a school with "high academics" .. presumably having nothing to do with smoking illegal substances .. he should just pick Stanford and be done. Always funny to hear these kids talk about academics. As if any of these D-1 schools are poor academically. Forget academics. You'll get that. Go to the school that will develop your basketball skills, that will give you the opportunity to play at the next level, and that will make you and your family happy. If you have the talents to be a brain surgeon, you can always do that .. whether you go to K-State undergrad or Stanford (of course, at K-State, you might end up dealing with a horse's brain, but a brain surgeon, nonetheless).


jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

Does Duke ever show recruits the old slave quarters, when they visit?


sleepy33 1 year, 11 months ago

Every time I see this kid's name, all I can think of is Coming To America. I think we should offer him just for his hi-top fade alone.


NWKhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Semi is clearly a a high D1 talent, and has the academics to go along. Stanford, Wisconsin, and Northwestern came to Goodland to watch the kid last December. He's been well coached, so he'll be ready to step in and play where ever he ends up. My guess is that he'll end up at one of the schools with very high academic standards, as it's very important to their family. I think the 'Hawks have an outside shot if they decide to offer, as I know one of his coaches is a KU alum, and his father is graduate of KU med, and did his residency there as well.


theend 1 year, 11 months ago

For some reason ....I'm in the mood to dislike Missouri today. I just realized there are probably only two people I like from Missouri.....1) Our own wise and witty Oakville Jayhawk...... ....... and 2) Beautiful,gorgeous country singer Sara Evans........with maybe an honorable mention to Harry Trumam-I'm a conservative republican .....but I liked old Harry.....He was a tough, good American.....he would freak at today's democats!

Anybody else like amyone from Missouri.....Did I miss anyone??

PS-Please Sara.....tell me you're not an MU fan!!


ejlumus 1 year, 11 months ago

Must be a slow news day. Picture of someone visiting duke on KU Sports that KU is not interested in..


mattrissien 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm living in Greensboro right now, maybe I'll put on a Jayhawk shirt and drive out to Durham............maybe he'll think it's a sign that he should be at KU!


Konkis Dongington III 1 year, 11 months ago

Self not offering this kid has everything to do with the the fact that we're already 3 deep in talented 3s through 2013. This year it's Relly, BMac, and White. Next year we trade Relly for Greene. Self has even mentioned playing Ellis at the wing. Ojeleye is certainly talented enough to offer. He's taken unofficial visits and has us on his list, so we know the interest is there, but at the end of the day, he doesn't fulfill any immediate needs. We have wings. We have 3-ball gunners. We have questionable defenders. For 2013 we need a ball handler and an exceptional big. Semi is neither. If we do offer, I think it will be more of the perfunctory 'keep Kansas players in Kansas' kind of a deal. If we land him, great, but honestly he'll get more PT elsewhere and that's probably what he'll want. He's good, but we won't miss him if we miss on him.


jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

Looks like a great prospect but...

6-6 forward with long neck syndrome.

With that neck he will play no taller than 6-4.

He has the TRel neck.

This makes him a combo 3, not a true 3.

But a 50% trey gun in the kiddy leagues translates to a 40% trey gun in D1, so sign him up. He'd make a great true 2.


ICTJHawks 1 year, 11 months ago

I watched him play and his biggest advantage against the 4A schools is his size and ability to shoot the 3 over smaller players. He didn't seem quick enough for a swingman, and showed no desire to play inside at a foward spot when going up against anyone even close to his size. He obviously has something going for him if all the other schools are looking at him, but I trust HCBS on this one if he doesn't want to put an offer out to him.


Brak 1 year, 11 months ago

Yea, I was just thinking to myself, why don't they publish more articles about recruits we haven't offered taking visits to others schools. LJW always on the pulse of what the fans want.


hooper 1 year, 11 months ago

I am sure that Self isn't interested in Ojeleye because he is a great recruit. Looks like he could be interested in UK.


jhox 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe we'll eventually offer on this young man, but it will likely come too late. When we have a player in our back yard ranked this high (and I hear it is a well earned ranking) I would think we'd be all over him. There must be something Self just isn't quite sure about. Soft defensively perhaps? Or, maybe it's another case of thinking we'll swoop in at the last minute, if we don't find someone better, and he'll be grateful to just have our offer. It would be interesting to know why Self is reluctant to offer the 36th ranked player living 15 miles from our campus. These are big time schools after this young man, so the coaches can't all be wrong about him.


Bill Kackley 1 year, 11 months ago

nule, it was a 6 game tourney. LOL


Nick Cole 1 year, 11 months ago

We already have a Traylor. Now we just need a Semi to pull it...

I know, I know, thank you ladies and gentlemen.


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

The brother of former Kansas State player Victor Ojeleye, Semi hit 18 of 37 three-pointers at the Boo Williams AAU Tournament in Hampton, Va.

He should quit being so selective - just put the dang ball UP, man. You can't score if you don't shoot.........


phogphan2000 1 year, 11 months ago

It would be kind of funny if Ojeleye ended up at Illinois over KSU and Weber I have to say, not that I have any ill-will towards KSU, just Weber.

Would be nice to get some news on Harris, but I guess there probably aren't a lot of reasons to rush the decision. He almost has to be waiting on UF and Finney-Smith. I know the freshmen can play on the summer trip, anyone know about a transfer not eligible for NCAA play?


Edward Daub 1 year, 11 months ago

I hear that Semi has to first drive a Truck to get to Durham.


Joel Teply 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, but when is the full Ojeleye going to visit?


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