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Duke men's basketball 2015-16 player preview: Sean Obi

Sean Obi

  • Year: Redshirt sophomore
  • Height: 6-foot-9
  • Position: Forward

Game breakdown: If you found yourself asking—who’s that injured player all dressed up?—on Duke's bench a year ago, the time has come to finally bring you some peace of mind—that player is Rice transfer Sean Obi. Obi transferred after his freshman campaign with the Owls and sat out a year, as stated by NCAA eligibility rules. The Nigerian born forward was an absolute monster in his sole season for the Owls, leading his team with 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game

Only the fifth player ever to transfer to the Blue Devils under Mike Krzyzewski, Obi’s game is very similar to that of an ideal big man. He is incredibly active on the boards and led the Conference USA in rebounding his freshman year. Obi's wide body acts as a brick wall on the defensive side of the ball and he runs the floor with energy and purpose. Although his offensive game hasn't fully developed to this point, Obi has solid hands and good footwork which make him a reliable option in the paint. Rebounding is by far Obi’s greatest strength and look for him to make a living on the glass when on the court this season.

Role on the team: With freshman Chase Jeter and team captains Marshall Plumlee and Amile Jefferson slated to get the majority of the minutes in the frontcourt this year, Obi will most likely only be an option off the bench. His energy and activity on the boards will be exactly what Krzyzewski will look for from Obi, as he gives some the team's starters some rest. After Jefferson's injury in an exhibition against Livingstone, Obi may see some more time on the floor in the early portion of the year.

NBA Comparison: Obi’s game most closely resembles that of Boston Celtics’ forward Jared Sullinger. Sullinger is an undersized power forward who’s wide body frame allows him to play bigger than he is. The former Buckeye is also an excellent rebounder with solid boxing out fundamentals. But Sullinger's offense repertoire is far more advanced than Obi's at this point and Obi will have to make strides during his time in Durham to make this comparison a reality.

Projected Statline: 5.0 MPG, 2.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 BPG

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