2013 forward Semi Ojeleye commits to Duke

  • 09/09/2012 8:40 pm in

2013 Ottawa, Kansas forward Semi Ojeleye is off the board.

According to Fox Sports Next recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, Ojeleye gave a verbal pledge to Duke following an in-home visit on Sunday.

Ojeleye had recently trimmed his list of schools to Duke, Indiana, Oregon and Stanford, but had not set up any official visits.

Indiana began recruiting Ojeleye last spring, hosted him on an unofficial visit on June 27 and tracked him in the July evaluation period as he led MoKan Elite to the semifinals of the Nike Peach Jam.

The Hoosiers are still looking to add to their current four-man recruiting class for 2013, which includes Collin Hartman, Devin Davis, Luke Fischer and Stanford Robinson.

2013 forward Marcus Lee has scheduled an official visit for Hoosier Hysteria on October 20 and IU is scheduled to be at Oak Hill Academy on Monday for a visit with Troy Williams.

Kennedy Meeks, a 2013 center from Charlotte, is also expected to receive an in-home visit from the IU staff, according to Tar Heel Illustrated.

Indiana is also expected to have an in-home visit with BeeJay Anya, one of their top targets remaining in the class. Anya hosted Pittsburgh and DePaul on Sunday for visits.

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  • He may decide differently depending on the outcome of this whole Duke scandal.

  • Guest


  • Evansville Hoosier

    Marcus Lee would be nice…


    ” I never stop recruiting ”

  • Hoosier7883

    What scandal?

  • Arch_Puddington

    No chance. This “scandal” is pure NCAA bull____. I’m sorry he didn’t choose us, but the ridiculous idea that Duke could be stripped of a title because one of its players received benefits they did not know about will not –and should not — cause anyone to back out of their commitment.

  • b_side

    Google Lance Thomas Duke jewelry.

    I agree with the others in that a) this won’t change Semi’s commitment and b) it’s NCAA bs.

  • jmfriedman

    Man, I could use some good news with the Tre Roberson tragedy and the Colts getting handled…. Something…

  • b_side

    Wonder if a player is even willing to give us a verbal at this point considering we’re already over signed by one for next season.

    He (BeeJay, Marcu Lee, etc) wouldn’t be able to sign his LOI until the Spring if both Cody and VO declare early.

    If you’re Semi, making the biggest decision of your life, wouldn’t you want a sure thing?

  • inLinE6

    Not trying to be negative, but that’s probably why we are oversigned and some highly rated prospects are not giving pledge to an already crunched IU scholy roster. If I were CTC, I’d stop giving early offers. Those make very little difference – even they do, they can change. We already know that!

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Good for Semi and best of luck. We could use the size of Lee or Anya to round ’13 out anyway, so on to the next guy.

  • plane1972

    I do think the scholly crunch is hurting us. I’m not losing sleep over it, but it may be enough to lose out on anyone we could be excited about, at this point for 2013.
    I also think the Duke situation is more than just NCAA BS. I’m confident Coach K didn’t know about it, ala Jim Tressel, but this seems even more unseemly than the tattoos in Columbus. Could you even imagine the quake of a vacated championship at Duke? Won’t happen, but just unbelievable!

  • Arch_Puddington

    This is a great point. On a related note, I think it’s fair to ask if accepting commitments from freshmen and sophomores is a strategy that has helped or hurt. None of the players who have helped us return to prominence were early commits, and those who have accepted early have begun to look shaky. Some have not progressed as well as we might like, and may well prevent us from landing players like Semi Ojeleye or Marcus Lee. In other cases (well, one case), a top player has backed out of his commitment and will likely end up elsewhere. I understand why we started down this path, but I am not sure we should stay on it. As we re-establish ourselves as a top program, I hope we can drop the gimmicky business of early signs and oversigns. I hope we reach the point at which we recruit established, upper class players and succeed because of stature, not because we offer first.

  • marcusgresham

    …but if Eron Gordon said “I’m in” tomorrow you’d still be happy, wouldn’t you?

  • marcusgresham

    I’m sure this kid’s a stud (don’t think Duke would be after him if he weren’t,) but he plays wing that’s currently the deepest spot for IU, so if they’re going to miss out on a guy it’s probably going to be OK.

  • Arch_Puddington

    In all seriousness, no. There is no way to know what he will look like in 3-4 years, no way to know who will emerge later, and no way to know if such a commitment would even stick. What I do know is that all of our best players, from Maurice Creek to Cody Zeller, have been recruited and committed at the normal stage of the process. Thus far, at least, the early commits have caused more problems than they have solved. If Eron Gordon or anyone else is truly worthy of an offer after their freshmen year, they will be worthy later as well.

  • Kelin Blab

    2013 seems to be down to Anya, Williams, and Lee. I still believe Anya, need to be further sold on Williams…(you tube is helping), and Lee I don’t think will leave and head to the the midwest from Cali.

    And again folks…..if Crean hasn’t been hurt by this ‘evil oversign’ thus far don’t bank on it now. These kids and Crean have more info than we do and I truly believe they are not deterred by it all.

    Just like guys are not deterred by IU have 47 wing players on the team.

  • Arch_Puddington

    They ARE deterred. Gary Harris is one we might have lost for this reason, and Zak Irvin is one we lost for sure. We’ll wait to hear from Semi, but he may be a casualty as well. These kids and their handlers can count, and the math is not on our side.

  • VerdellJonesIV

    Peyton. Manning.

  • Kelin Blab

    How do you know we lost Gary Harris and Zak Irvin. If they were so deterred, why bother making MULTIPLE trips to Bloomington…even after we had kids committed. Kids pick schools, not based on scholarship numbers but based on fit, style of play, and relationships. I am sure other coaches attempt to use this against IU but this is nothing new.

  • IURob1997

    These aren’t “gimmicky” practices of early signings and over signs. Look at every top program in the country and they do this as well. If IU wants to be big time they will have to get out there and act big time.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Math is not on our side? You really think Semi looked at the situation here and said, “Dang! I would love to go to IU. But who’s to guarantee that Cody Zeller, the consensus #1 college player in the country, will go pro next year?” Guys, I have news: come May, CZ is gone. Everyone knows it, and so do these kids. If they want to come, they’ll be here. Pretty happy w/ our ’13 recruits, but in the meantime, would love to pick up Anya/Lee/Williams. And fail to understand how early recruiting “hurts” us — these kids are recruited nationally from the second they become known — could be 4th grade or 12th — it’s the way the game is played. And if an 8th grade Trey Lyles comes down to B-ton and says he wants to commit — you know what? You don’t say no.

    I remember last yr at this time getting into an argument w/ someone on this site, they were down on CTC because we didn’t land Gary Harris. Who cares? 2012 is our BEST recruiting class in over 20 years! What I said then and what I’ll repeat now is: look. If you want to be down on CTC for his substitutions, for his style of play, for his W/L record (lol, this was last yr), okay. But the recruiting? That’s the one place you HAVE to give him an A+. I mean, how spoiled have we become?

  • LTTelamon

    Except that then the kid gives up on you when you don’t offer until junior/senior year because he doesn’t think you’re interested or you didn’t “give him enough love”. It’s a relationship game now. It used to be just selling the program.

  • Gary Harris isn’t a big loss IMHO. He is physically weak. He can not create his own shot. He is an average if not below outside shooter. He is an explosive jumper, but again physically weak, not a great first step and therefore the explosiveness is limited, He fragile as well. Always limping around after plays.
    Zak Irvin supposedly has improved over the summer, but last year he was a shooting machine. Not a making machine, just a shooting machine. Handles the ball well for 6’7, but plays no defense, doesn’t rebound, cherry picks and his favorite shot at 6’7 is the fade a way three. Michigan can have him.

  • Damn this one hurts this morning. Glad the Hoosier FB was able to get the win, takes the edge off a little. But I was hoping for Semi and Meeks. Duke got a beast there.

  • SCHoosier

    NO surprise I guess. Alex..can Crean publically discuss who he is doing “in home visits” with? Meeks I know….find it really strange that with all our contacts with Anya..there is nary a mention of a visit..home or otherwise. II reported last week that the “pack” of other schools had caught up with IU as far as recruiting Anya….Hoosiers still in the running..but the lack of mention is bothersome..or is it just me?NCS visited him last week apparently. Side note..hate what happened to Tre and IU football. Wilson is doing the right things..losing a potent offensive weapon in Tre is a real setback.

  • Arch_Puddington

    I know Zak Irvin was lost for this reason because his dad said so. The others are more speculative, but not without reason.

  • jahhoosier

    Everyone needs to keep in mind two things about the NEXT commitment, if there is one.

    First, he will not be the intended replacement for the potential early departure of Cody; that is the scholarship Indiana over-committed for when they accepted Robinson’s verbal.

    Second, he can only sign in the spring. The rules are such that the November signing date can include only ONE over-sign.

    So, for a kid like Semi, he would have had to a) assume somebody other than Cody is jumping early and b) wait until spring. Since the rest of the world is rightly more skeptical than our fan-base that anybody but Cody would be a first round draft choice this next summer (count me among the rest of the world on that one), it really is silly to say that the scholarship crunch would not have an effect.

    Moreover, it is not 100% certain that Cody will leave after the year. I obviously think he will but he’s a unique kid. The Hoosier-Times guys, for example, cautioned just the other day that they think the chances of him leaving early are being exaggerated, and they certainly know more than most of us about the situation. And, of course, even that level of exaggeration ignores the possibility that, Heaven Forefend, he gets hurt and needs to return to prove an injury has fully healed.

    So, the scholarship crunch and the over-sign are undeniably a factor with any of the remaining targets, but just one factor among a long list of many.

    Now, is it a “problem”, (ignoring the ethics or educational ideals of it for the purpose of this discussion)? Only if you think a) Indiana would DEFINITELY get one of these other targets were it not for the scholarship crunch, and b) you know with ABSOLUTE certainty that these other targets would be better for the program than Indiana’s current commitments.

    That of course brings up the early commitments issue. As with the over-signing issue, the devil is in the details and some of them are being obscured. All the top programs RECRUIT underclassmen. Indiana is somewhat alone among the elite programs in accepting COMMITMENTS from underclassmen.

  • Arch_Puddington

    The fact that others do them does not make them right….North Carolina was recently found to have essentially invented class credits for some of its football players, and the NCAA decided not to punish them for it. Should we no begin doing the same?

  • b_side

    Apples meet oranges.

  • HoosierTrav

    Well said. My EXACT stance.

  • HoosierTrav

    Gary Harris wont hurt us in any way but if Gary Harris would have committed to IU, that would have been HUGE!!! The questions on our wing defense would have been shored up. He’s THAT good defensively. He will be Sparty’s best player as a freshman. That’s impressive.

  • b_side

    Also a great point. I don’t follow the recruiting of other top tier programs well enough, but I’d be curious to know how the blue bloods handle early offers and oversigning.

    Is Crean much more likely to offer early (before Sophomore year) compared to Coach K, Williams, Self, etc?

    Is Crean more likely to oversign as well? Or is it just a result of being in the gutter for a few years and fearing the unknown?

    What was Crean’s recruiting behavior at Marquette? Not exactly apples to apples due to varying challenges of coaching IU vs. Marquette, but might give us insight.

  • HoosierTrav

    Troy Williams or BeeJay Anya would be nice. I’m really hopin to have BeeJay. We could use a dominant shot blocker.

  • N71

    Yep, spot on. Not many Hoosiers in Brklyn…I can only think of one, kid loved basketball, killer first step at the HPER, magic with the ladies, and he’s probably still dancing.

  • cdog

    Agree 100%. I have never been a big fan of the early committment mentality. If you look at the top tier programs, they don’t generally offer freshmen. There will always be top tier talent that does not commit until their senior year (Anya, Lee, Williams, Meeks). This way you know what your getting and it is generally too late for them to decommit.
    Good luck to Semi as he seems like a good kid.

  • SCHoosier

    I think Creans recent and blunt comments on Mo Creek says a lot if you read between the lines. If Mo gets his degree this year…..I think that will be it..regardless of remaining eligibility.


    A person,especially an IU fan, stating their opinion is not being negative. I enjoy seeing and reading differing views on most all IU bball subjects.

    I understand what you are saying and even agree to a certain point but with the way the recruiting business is these days I am one of those that believe that, it does have it’s drawbacks, it is the best way for us at this point in our comeback. If Crean had not signed one of the other freshmen and then we found out that Patterson was not going to be here I think most people would have questioned why he hadn’t planned for that contingency.

    With as relentless as Crean is and with as much as he studies things, especially recruiting, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t weighed the pros and cons of this method, and for what it’s worth I’m not one of those that think just because of who he is and where he coaches that he cannot do anything wrong. I do also believe that as we cement the fact that we are contenders year in and year out, and not just a one time wonder in the eyes of top recruits, we can and CTC will, recruit somewhat differently. Recruits changing their minds happens all the time and to all coaches. I don’t think we should change what has been a successful recruiting strategy because one recruit has said that he may possibly not follow through on his very early commitment. I am one of those that thinks Lyles will end up somewhere other than at IU. I certainly hope he comes to IU, but I just don’t see it happening at this point. In a way, IMHO, that only reinforces the idea that it is best to recruit the way that Crean is plus it seems more and more like alot of the top recruits are waiting longer and longer to make their decisions which, again IMHO, makes it necessary to do things this way. Plus, like LTT said, most, if not all recruits, feel like they weren’t shown enough love if you weren’t in on them very early on.

  • Oldguyy

    Also, considering how deep this team is, and considering the fact that 40% of incoming freshman Division 1 men’s basketball players are no longer at their original school after the end of their sophomore year, I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t transfer after this coming season in order to get more playing time elsewhere.


    I’ve coached more than a couple of games and in my opinion, and that’s all it is, Harris will have to improve the defensive aspect of his game considerably for him to have a truly big time impact on an Izzo team. While Izzo may be able to get that out of him Izzo will also limit his minutes, at least somewhat, until he does show considerable improvement in his D, again all of this is just MHO and yes I wish he would have signed with us cause I believe that CTC is also one the few that could have had a good chance of getting him to make that kind of improvement.

  • DannerPerea

    I’m not exactly with you on that..i think it IS possible to show the love and let a player know of your interest without making a formal offer..and we should be up front with WHY we’re not offering just yet. It has nothing to do with the talent he possesses, but has EVERYTHING to do with making sure the maturity and patience and faith exist that things will work if they’re meant to. Stay in close contact via phone and text and visits…but the offers come when they’re a Jr or Sr in High School.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Well… while I can see and agree with the reason for being perturbed about not full-court recruiting Anya, I also want to allow for the possibility that Crean’s backing off for a reason. For starters, if Crean’s gotten a pretty good read on whether continued, high intensity recruiting would work or not – and I mean a very good, solid, evidence based read, not just a suspicion or an unsupported feeling – then I think it would be smart for him not to push things. If Crean knows that there’s a level of contact that’ll turn Anya off, or he has very good, solid read or logical reason to believe that IU’s out of the running, then it’s totally right for him to reallocate his efforts where they would be productive. And at that point he’d be perfectly justified in only keeping up enough contact to ensure the lines of communication could reopen if something totally unexpected would happen (like that other program losing their coach).

    But that’s *if*. Given Crean’s work ethic and enthusiasm, I’m more willing to believe that he’s got a real reason over thinking he’s just screwing the recruiting up, but I admit, this is just personal opinion. I, too, would love to know the reason. Could it be that I’m worried over nothing, and that Crean’s actually got it in the bag and can concentrate elsewhere? That would be sweet, wouldn’t it? 😉 🙂

  • LTTelamon

    It’s fine reasoning for us, sitting here talking about it rationally. These are teenagers. Have you seen them tweet every time they get an offer? It means something to them, and thus, it means something to them when they don’t get an offer. In other circles, we might term that sort of attention without the followthrough of an offer “relationship ambivalence”.

    I’m with CTC on this one. It may not be desirable to oversign or to sign them when they’re freshmen, but it’s what’s required to stay ahead of the pack and to be in on the recruits we need to be in on.

  • LTTelamon

    And for what it’s worth, I agree with those who say there are problems with recruiting young and oversigning. I just believe at this point it’s necessary in order to run a top 5 program.