Last season, Duke basketball’s lack of size, athleticism and defensive versatility on the perimeter proved to be costly.
Going forward, that problem should not plague the Blue Devils again. Sunday night Duke added Semi Ojeleye, the No. 9 small forward and No. 38 overall recruit in the class of 2013 according to ESPN.com, to a set of wings that already includes Alex Murphy and Rodney Hood.
Ojeleye committed to Duke following his in-home visit with head coach Mike Krzyzewski Sunday evening.
“All along his recruitment, he has talked about finding the fit for himself, and when that time came he would make a commitment,” said Jon McKowen, Ojeleye’s high school coach. “He felt like [Duke] was the right fit.”
Krzyzewski beat out Indiana, Oregon and Stanford to land Ojeleye.
After unofficially visiting Duke earlier this summer, the Blue Devils were considered the frontrunner to land the 6-foot-7, 220-pound swingman from Ottawa, Kan., who averaged 32.5 points per game last season as a junior. Ojeleye’s athleticism, ability to shoot the ball proficiently from deep and defend multiple positions should be assets for Duke in the coming years.
“He is a matchup problem,” McKowen said. “He has guard skills shooting the ball and with his ball-handling skills. He gets to the [free throw] line a bunch. He’s very athletic, a quick jumper and he is very strong around the hoop.”
Ojeleye already has a college-ready body and an advanced offensive skillset, but his work ethic and character may be his best attributes as evidenced by what he proceeded to do following his commitment to the Blue Devils.
“He is in the gym as we speak right now,” McKowen said Sunday night. “So it’s not like he is sitting home being excited that he committed to Duke. He knows there is a lot of work to be done, and he is in the gym working on it.”
Academically, Ojeleye is equally stellar, ranked atop of his high school class and with aspirations to study finance. Finding a school that could benefit him equally on the hardwood and in the classroom was an important component in Ojeleye’s recruitment.
The addition of Ojeleye gives Krzyzewski his second commit in the class of 2013 to go along with Matt Jones, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from DeSoto, Texas. Hoping to put together a blockbuster recruiting class in 2013, Krzyzewski is still in the mix to land arguably the best two players in the class— Jabari Parker and Julius Randle. Securing one of the two could instantly make Duke one of the preseason favorites to win the national title in 2014.
Krzyzewski’s recruiting trip continues today as he conducts an in-home visit with Austin Nichols—the No. 5 power forward in the class of 2013—and with Randle, the No. 1 power forward in the class, Tuesday.