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March Madness Prospect Watch Day 2: Semi Ojeleye

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Prospect watch continues with an under the radar forward from SMU, the versatile Semi Ojeleye.

NCAA Basketball: AAC Conference Tournament-Cincinnati vs SMU David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Semi Ojeleye - SMU

Projected draft spot: 28th (Draft Express), Not Ranked (CBS Sports), Not Ranked (ESPN)

Stats: 34.0 minutes, 18.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 49.3 FG%, 42.8 3PT%, 77.9 FT%

Strengths: Physical Tools, Versatility, Shooting Potential, Defensive Potential

Weaknesses: Consistency, Low steal/block numbers, Rebounding

Game Time: Friday v.s. USC @ 1:10 PM MST

What to watch for: Semi Ojeleye is a 6’7 forward who transferred from Duke after his sophomore season. He wasn’t able to suit up for his junior season, but this year, Ojeleye has looked like a new player, one potentially worth a first round pick.

As a first option, operating on a high number of field goal, three point, and free throw attempts per game, Ojeleye put up a true shooting percentage of 62.7% and a 26.5 PER. Both numbers are very strong, especially when considering there were only four other forwards in college basketball that matched his efficiency and minutes. The way he accomplished this is a heavy focus on the three point line and the free throw line. Ojeleye is a strong enough shooter to draw defenders away from the rim to guard him as well as a strong enough ball handler to drive to the rim off of close outs.

His athleticism shows up when attacking the rim as well as his “switchability” potential on the defensive end. He shows good discipline when guarding the pick and roll, and while he doesn’t generate many steals or blocks, staying in front of guards and generating misses his one of Ojeleye’s strengths.

What I will be watching for with Ojeleye is whether he can make his impact defensively show up in the box score. Also, will his three point shot translate to the tournament setting? He’s in the same bracket as his former team in Duke, so will his competitive fire show up in a good way or a bad way against them?

For the Nuggets, Ojeleye would fit in well as a defensive forward and spot up/cutting threat. With so many injury prone players and a potential exit by Danilo Gallinari, having insurance at the forward position should be a point of emphasis come draft time.