In the past, there has been a certain stereotype that comes with being a Duke athlete. Think JJ Redick, Ryan Kelly, Christian Laetnner. The type of player that isn’t athletically intimidating but is extremely smart and skilled at a certain area of the game (usually shooting). Of course there have been some exceptions to those rules (most notably young Grant Hill) but saavy, non-athletic players have been the norm for the Blue Devils.
Well incoming recruit Semi Ojeleye does not fit that mold. Yesterday, this picture was posted on instagram of Ojeleye’s standing vertical test. Have a look at the picture to understand how insane that kind of height is. This was on a STANDING vertical, I repeat, standing. I wouldn’t be able to reach that height with a running start and someone giving me a boost by kneeling on the court.
Ojeyele stands at 6″6 and as we can tell, has insane athleticism. He is not the most heralded player from this amazing 2013 recruiting class but he might be its finest athlete. If he gets any type of playing time next year, opponents better hope he doesn’t get a fast break opportunity because he will be putting them in highlight packages for the next 10 years.
As far as his basketball skills go, he is still very raw and will need to figure out how to use his incredible athleticism in a way that will allow him to profit as a player but coach K is just the type of player to fix that problem. If he is able to become a consistent offensive threat, he will be a scary player on both ends of the court as he already has great defensive instincts that will only be sharpened in his time at Duke.
Hopefully he is not destined to become another James “Flight” White and is able to combine his athleticism and basketball skill to become a truly special basketball player at both the college and professional level.