Semi Ojeleye is a future NBA star that you’ve probably never heard of. Ojeleye isn’t a “big name” prospect in this year’s draft by any means, although he did win American Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Year in the 2016-2017 NCAA basketball season. Semi averaged 18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in his one season at Southern Methodist University (SMU) on 48.8% shooting. Ojeleye is a hidden gem in this year’s loaded draft class.
Height : 6’8″
Weight : 230 pounds
Position : Small Forward / Power Forward
College : Duke University / Southern Methodist University
Strengths : Offensive Game, Rebounding, Versatility, Intangibles, Athleticism, Strength, and Lateral Quickness.
Semi Ojeleye is explosive on the offensive side of the ball. Averaging close to 19 points per game this year, Ojeleye shot 48.8% from the field and 42.4% from beyond the arc. Ojeleye is an excellent finisher around the basket as he can shoot over smaller defenders in the post and finish through contact at the rim with a dunk or layup. He also shoots 56% in the “Half-Court” which shows that Semi can create his own offense when needed. Ojeleye is also an excellent shooter as has a pure shooting stroke from beyond the arc and from the mid-range. Ojeleye can shoot off the dribble and off the catch which is a huge advantage to have going into the NBA.
Ojeleye is one of the best rebounders in this entire draft class, despite playing Small Forward and standing at only 6’8″. Along with averaging close to 7 rebounds per game this year, Semi averaged 3.2 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes this year at SMU. Semi has a nose for the ball on the offensive glass and is one of the best “putback” dunkers in the nation.
Semi is also one of the most versatile players in this year’s draft. Ojeleye played Small Forward, Power Forward, and even Center this year at SMU.
His thin muscular frame allows him to bully smaller defenders inside, and his quick first step and aggression makes it easy for him to blow by bigger defenders. Semi Ojeleye also led the NCAA with 2.1 Points per Possesion (PPP) in the “Pick and Pop” game. Semi was third in the NCAA in Isolation Efficiency, averaging 1.37 PPP. Ojeleye has an excellent jab step which is his “Go-To” move. His combination of shooting, finishing, athleticism, and strength makes him a very difficult matchup wherever he plays.
Weaknesses : Defensive Consistency, Ball Control, Post Game, Left-Handed Finishing, and Passing Vision.
Semi Ojeleye is not a great defender at all. Semi struggles in “On-Ball” defending situations, though he is a quite good “Pick-And-Roll” defender due to his exceptional lateral quickness. Ojeleye struggles with defensive consistency as his effort seems lackluster at times.
Ojeleye also needs to work on his post game. Ojeleye struggles to finish with his left hand and pass out of the post. Also, Semi isn’t very comfortable in the post and struggles to score against bigger defenders down low. He relies too much on his frame to score and needs to work on his touch around the rim, including developing a floater.
What NBA Player does Semi Ojeleye resemble?
Semi Ojeleye resembles James Johnson, though Semi is more built. They can both play Small Forward and Power Forward, and can score from inside and out on the offensive end.
Where could Semi Ojeleye land in the NBA Draft?
It should be very interesting where Semi Ojeleye will land in the NBA Draft. The Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail-Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers have all expressed interest in drafting Semi.
If Semi Ojeleye can mature his game then he will blossom into an NBA star before our eyes. Ojeleye has tons of upside, and has the intangibles to become a star making a long lasting impact on the NBA before his career is over.