Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ottawa prep Semi Ojeleye picks Duke


Semi Ojeleye, a 6-foot-6 senior forward from Ottawa High, orally committed to play basketball at Duke during Sunday’s in-home visit with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Ojeleye, who is ranked No. 30 in the Class of 2013 by, also had Indiana, Stanford and Oregon on his list. Kansas University did not have Ojeleye on its recruiting list.

KU coach Bill Self had a pair of in-home visits scheduled Sunday. He visited with 6-foot Wichita North commit Conner Frankamp in the morning and was slated to visit with Chris Jones, a 5-11 point guard from Northwest Florida State College, in the evening.

New name

KU is now recruiting Joel Embid, a 7-foot senior from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, reports. The unranked player also has Florida, Louisville, Texas, UCLA and others on his list.

Bill on Billy

Self tells ESPN he has not spoken to embattled Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie for about a month. Gillispie is under fire at Texas Tech for allegedly practicing more hours than the NCAA allows and mistreatment of injured players.

“I do know that Billy is tough. I know that he only knows one way to do it, and that’s to be tougher, harder and more prepared than his opponent, period,” Self told “To be honest with you, it’s a pretty successful method that a lot of coaches use. Billy’s different. He has his own motivating tactics.

“With Billy, you’re talking about a guy that’s gone from six wins to 24 wins (at UTEP). You’ve got a guy that has gone from zero conference wins (at Texas A&M;) to the Sweet 16 in a short amount of time,” Self added. “He does have some experience doing it his way and doing it big. His way works.”

Self added ...

“Mistreatment of players should never occur, but there are also two sides to every story. That certainly appears to be the case here, because after hearing from his enemies early, now we’ve heard from guys who say, ‘Oh, man, he was so hard on me, but I’m a better man for it.’ Including players in his current program. As far as making guys practice and play when they’re hurt, it’s unfathomable to me that the guy that I know would put anyone out there in harm’s way intentionally. I have a hard time believing he would do that.”

Of the practice-time issue, Self said: “When did it happen? Did it happen over Thanksgiving break? Or did it happen when class was in session? If it happened over a break, then there’s absolutely no issue, because it’s totally legal. I do know that my players here think we practice a lot longer than we actually do. All players do. You could have a practice plan out there that says ‘96 minutes,’ and the players think, ‘Oh God, we’re going two-and-a-half hours today.’ Sometimes you stay on schedule, sometimes you don’t. But in their minds, everyone practices too long.”


Joe Satterwhite 10 years, 3 months ago

Success comes at a high price, and no I'm not talking about John CaliPaypal. But I think Self is basically saying that if these guys at TT wanted to be as successful as they "thought" they did, then they would've sucked it up and practiced for as long as the rules allowed them too. You gotta believe that while those players were under Pat Knight they developed a level of complacency and laziness, but when Billy got there he pushed the crap outta them until they pushed back. My dad (who's an A&M alum) told me stories about how when Gillespie came to A&M, Acie Law IV wanted transfer and if not for his mother forcing him to stay would have. And we all know what Law did to us at the fieldhouse a few years later. Billy is a craaaazzzy coach....more of Bob Knight kind of guy than Pat Knight will ever be.

RJ King 10 years, 3 months ago

Ojeleye: Puzzling. Stanford, Duke, Oregon (???), and Indiana. Sounds like a bright kid, who maybe wanted the experience of being far away from home. Hopefully, diamonds are not a Semi best friend.

Self's grasp of teens/young adults and human nature > many.

Steve Reigle 10 years, 3 months ago

He apparently was not on Kansas' list but was that Kansas' choice of the kid's choice? Maybe he said he's not interested in an in-state school. There's no mention of Kansas State or Wichita State or any other Kansas school showing interest in him.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 3 months ago

Willie Cauley is 6'10" We scouted him but made no offer. I hate seeing coaches come into Kansas and walkaway with some of the states best talent.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 3 months ago

I can understand the frustration, but I trust that Self and staff have evaluated these players and know whether they will be a good fit for the program. Cauley might be a good player, but if Self feels like he can't push him to be great or something else, then there is a chance he would rather move on and find a great player somewhere else that will fit into his system and the team concept.

Remember, Kansas isn't a program that has to rely on in-state kids to build a competitive team. As a nationally recognized program with deep history and lots of media coverage, they can recruit all corners of the country. If they lose an occasional player or two from in-state, I trust that Self will have a player that will contribute at a greater level. Not something to worry about.

bjejayhawk69 10 years, 2 months ago

Similar situation. Cauley would have wanted KU if KU wanted him. They didn't recruit him because he not a great player. Heard it directly from guys who played with him. He is not a big loss. We will see if every sees the floor at UK.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 2 months ago

Nicely stated. I think he will get some experience this year but won't start getting significant minutes until either his sophomore or junior year. I've also heard the rumors that there was some type of issue between him and Kansas but haven't found any source. If you heard it directly, then I'm more inclined to believe it.

REHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Currently, we appear to be well stocked with players in Semi's size range, with our pressing needs to exist at the center and point positions. I never captured a sense that Semi was ever much interested in KU. Maybe early on in his high school career he became miffed that our coaching staff did not beat a path to his door? Didn't I once read that his family was more enthusiastic about K State athletics than they were about the Jayhawks?

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 3 months ago

Plus if Cat comes with a 6'6" handcuff of Troy Williams, we have another #3

Jory Collins 10 years, 3 months ago

Semi was a Missouri Valley Eclipse AAU guy. We don't get involved with those guys for political recruiting reasons. The same reason we didn't recruit Willie Cauley just down the road.

melrank 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm not famaliar with MVE AAU - will you elaborate on "political recruiting reasons"?

Jory Collins 10 years, 3 months ago

MVE is a Kansas City based AAU program, a really good one. I don't have any details but have heard that there is a tif between them and KU. You could speculate many reasons. Maybe something happened previously in recruiting MVE didn't like involving KU, maybe their AAU program is funded by some former KSU Alumni, etc... There could be a ton of reasons. KU just doesn't get MVE kids (not that there have been a ton of ones we want). That's a 5 star kid and and 4 star kid 25 minutes away that we don't even show interest because they know it's a waste of time.

Matt Kenton 10 years, 3 months ago

Interesting. Are Missouri Valley Eclipse and Mo-Kan Elite the same program?

If so, Alec Burks (from KC, the surprise talent at Colorado a few years ago) played for them too. Always wondered why we never recruited him.

Brian Skelly 10 years, 3 months ago

I cant vouch for the specifics that jc alludes to. That said, here in St. Louis there is definitely 'lines drawn' with the AAU programs. It seems all 3 "big" recruiting schools (Mizzou, Illinois, SLU) rarely go after the same guys from the same programs. Part of that's perceived 'level', part of thats penetration of the schools into the AAU programs. Knowing what I do know those issues are far more pronounced in KC than here. But they still exist.

KJ Quartermaine 10 years, 3 months ago

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Joel Hood 10 years, 3 months ago

Billy Clyde and Self go back a long way and are very good friends. I thought Self's statements were fine. He didn't defend any actions, he reasonably said, we need to see the whole picture before making judgement. Unless you have first hand knowledge, how can you criticize that?

Lonnie Ross Dillon 10 years, 3 months ago

I suspect Coach Self had no interest in the young man, but it rankles to have Duke come to Kansas to take good talent out of the state.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 3 months ago

Exactly .. Self clearly targeted Greene in the 2013, and got the commit. But he obviously wasn't recruiting him before that. There may have been some other things going on. The reality is that "just because" he's from Kansas doesn't mean we have to recruit him.

The MU football team may need to "close it's borders" in recruiting, but KU basketball doesn't. Recruiting the top Kansas kids is nice and should be done when it works .. we've done that with Frankamp and Ellis.

I've never had any issue with the top talent that Self targets. He truly knows exactly what this team needs when making those choices. We can question "why" we didn't go after this kid, but rest assured, there is a good answer -- and we have to trust our coach on that one.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 3 months ago

Plus if we are adding another #3, it might be Troy Williams handcuffed to Cat Barber.

Alohahawk 10 years, 3 months ago

I would add one more name to that list, konkeyDong: Jabari Parker. He might be a long shot but I really think KU is in his top 3 - 4. And I could see Self holding a spot open for him, just in case. He may be 6' 7", but he's more of a SF than he is a PF. There's a very good chance that Self gets one of the three PG's (Barber, Jackson or Jones), and if Parker would chose KU, he would be the icing on the cake for this recruiting class. Conceivably, if Parker came, that could help draw one of the top bigs as well (Shepherd, Lawrence, Lee, or even Randle).

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 2 months ago

More experience? They are all still in high school. At most, there is a one-year difference.

As far as talent, pretty hard to say without knowing their AAU backgrounds and the talent of the schools they played against.

The only way that I can judge their talent level is how they are ranked at and all are fairly close in the rankings.

So I still don't understand why they never recruited him.

But HCBS was still recruiting Andrew White and the rest without showing any interest in Semi Ojeleye. The decision not to recruit him came before all but Ben McLemore committed to Kansas.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 3 months ago

Reasons Kansas Passed on Semi;

  • We already have a Traylor.

  • No one could pronounce his name.

  • Well, even if it was Rat Face, at least it wasn't Uncle Roy or Calicheatothecowscomehome.

  • The next 6'-6" guy we recruit better be a guard.

  • KU thought it was Ottawa, Canada and suspected eligibility and visa issues.

  • Semi felt the color, Crimson clashed with his eyes.

  • Too much traffic on the daily commute.

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 3 months ago

Guess we'll get to see Ojeleye firsthand next year in the Champions Classic in Chicago.

Curtis Stutz 10 years, 3 months ago

Any thoughts on when tickets will go on sale for this year in Atlanta?

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 3 months ago

I believe they went on sale to the general public already. I know the deadline for Williams Fund folks was Sept. 4th. Also try checking out the Georgia Jayhawks page on Facebook. There was some info on there within the past week or so.

Curtis Stutz 10 years, 2 months ago

Great, just for alumni huh, have to call my brother just to have him buy me a ticket, no thanks organizers. Things like this make it hard for a lifelong KU fan to continue to give a sh*t.

kansas25 10 years, 3 months ago

Semi is a big K-State fan, but I think education and a really good program won out here. He's a good kid and a great player, but KU didn't need him. Unfortunately for KSU, they did.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 3 months ago

This is the only thing that really matters in this article going forward:

"KU is now recruiting Joel Embid, a 7-foot senior from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, reports. The unranked player also has Florida, Louisville, Texas, UCLA and others on his list."

Seems ok if he's the 2nd post player in this class behind one of the top 50 guys we're going after for 2013; however, not ok if he's the top post player in this class.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 3 months ago

Self is either looking for a 4 yr player or isn't confident of signing a top tier player.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 3 months ago

in regards to Semi: HCBS wasn't recruiting him...we didn't even offer. so it's a moot point that he went to Duke. Basically, everyone else in the area is at a loss...KSU, MU, Illinois...because they were actively recruiting him. this is only a story since he lives in Ottawa KS.

in regards to Billy Gillispie, Coach Self knows him about as well as anyone. if anybody gets to comment on this, as a third party, it's Bill Self. He was on his staff at two different programs......the two talked, when they were coaching other programs, at least once a week. This isn't a guy who is an acquaintence of the subject...he KNOWS him....maybe sometimes, even better than Billy himself. So Self should be respected in all of his comments on this.

all of this being said, Gillispie should have never left aTm for UK. he was beloved in College Station....he totally had that program going...his way. at UK, his personality didn't fit at all. he felt the backlash, and then he couldn't handle it. and he hasn't been the same since.

Eric Dawson 10 years, 3 months ago

As both a Jayhawk (first and always, thought it so nice I graduated twice) and an Aggie (the Army paid for it, so why not, it's an excellent school), I totally agree with all your comments on Gillispie. I've been saddened and mystified by what has happened with him since he left A&M. I wish him well, but if all the charges being leveled have foundation, his days at Tech are probably numbered.

RJ King 10 years, 3 months ago

I don't know whether Freeman had seen the campus or coeds before - but both absolutely gorgeous, coupled with win over nebraska, and promise of new chapter at ucla. Just wish he'd given Late Night a chance . . .

Ben Simonett 10 years, 3 months ago

Fellow Jayhawk fans i have a funny story i would like to share with you:

My brother texted me today to tell me that John Callipari was at his school (apple valley highschool in Minnesota) to recruit Tyus Jones (#1 PG in '14 class).

Being a loyal jayhawk he asked me what he should do. I replied he should walk up to Callipari and say "Tyus is going to cost a lot more than the 250k you paid Anthony Davis"

I'm going to pick my brother up from the after school detention he got for that comment in a hour.

We both feel it was well worth it!

Rock Chalk!

Alohahawk 10 years, 3 months ago

ROFLMAO!!!! Buy your brother a keg!! BTW. I'd love to know how Cal Lie Pari responded. And keep an eye out for anyone with "WWW" on their license plates.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 3 months ago

Apparently Callipari was getting a tour of the school from the principal when my brother approached him. My Bro wasn't really able to guage a reaction because the principal sent him to detention immediately.

Alex Peekeaton 10 years, 3 months ago

Question re: " its just his methods to acquire such players that has infuriated college bball purists."

What are his methods that infuriates college bball purists?

Ben Simonett 10 years, 3 months ago

Roy Williams and Tom Izzo are scheduled to visit next week. Anybody got any suggestions on what to do?

I like Izzo, don't really have anything negative to say to him.

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