Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Semi Ojeleye Joins Matt Jones in Duke's 2013 Class

Semi Ojeleye recently committed to Duke, a player I saw and wrote about down at the Peach Jam. At the time I saw him as a perfect fit in Durham.

Semi Ojeleye struggled from the field shooting 2-9 in the first game I saw him in. In the other game I saw him play, against the Wings, he had a more efficient day. In both matchups, Ojeleye had no problem getting to the line. Ojeleye hasa college ready body, perfect size for a SF and good mass. When he gets the ball, he squares up his defender and looks to attack. He uses a jab step and operates from triple threat mode, although he is best when driving. Driving to the hoop, Ojeleye has a solid first step, but he is especially good at drawing contact. He uses that strong frame to help him finish inside. He is a good athlete, but not an elite athlete on the level of some other small forwards there. He plays under control and plays within his team's game plan. He is obviously a well-coached player and its obvious to see why Coach K is after him. He looks like a Duke player. He is a good all-around player and gets after it on defense. I think in college he is capable of playing a variety of roles, from lead man to a super role player. He will be a core member of whatever high major he chooses, should he go that route, and definitely has the ability to play in the NBA in the future with hard work and production. Ojeleye is a winner.

 He joins Matt Jones in Duke's class of 2013 haul, another play I have had the opportunity to see and write about.

With Matt Jones, you get a very smart player who is lethal from three (11-26 at Peach Jam) and has the length and fluidity to play great defense. He plays team basketball and fits the Duke image to the tee. He has no problem being a role player and has played second fiddle all summer next to Randle. He can be an Arron Aflalo type player in the league. He can handle the ball a bit and rarely turns it over. While he is great at catching and shooting, Jones separates himself from other shooters because he can put the ball on the floor and create his own 3-pt shot. He showed this multiple times in the game against CIA Bounce, where he avenged his measly 4 point performance from his earlier game against Howard Pulley.

Even after seeing Jones have a quiet game in my first ever look at him, I wasn't down on him. He just didn't really impose his force on the game. In the night cap and one of the most anticipated games of the event though, Jones shined. Randle was struggling so Jones knew he had to step up. And he did. He showed his competitive side and motor by defending Wiggins while dropping 26 points (and zero turnovers!!!).

Matt Jones won't post ridiculous numbers at Duke, but I'd take him on a NBA team anyday of the week when he eventually comes out. He has all the tools to be a great role player. He is one of those guys that goes mid-late first round and has no problem carving out a niche.

Duke's Current Projected 2013-14 Lineup

PG - Quinn Cook/Tyler Thornton
SG - Rasheed Sulaimon/Andre Dawkins/Matt Jones
SF - Rodney Hood/Semi Ojeleye
PF - Amile Jefferson/Josh Hairston
C - Marshall Plumlee

It looks like Duke will have a crowded backcourt during their Jones' and Ojeleye's freshman year. Jones had a potential role as a shooter, but with Dawkins redshirting this season and coming back with a clear mind, he will be stuck behind him. Tyler Thornton may be the weak link and Sulaimon and Jones both can play some point, but Thornton will be a senior and I don't see Coach K relegating him to the bench. Sulaimon, Jefferson, and Plumlee all are possible candidates to entering the draft, but none are probable.

Duke should add at least one more notable player to next year's class. A big man is needed and they are legit contenders for Julius Randle and Austin Nichols. Randle just spent a whole day with Coach K and Jeff Capel during an in home visit. 

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