Ojeleye Catching Fire

Ojeleye Catching Fire

After earning his first BCS offer from Wisconsin after an unofficial visit last month, Ottawa (KA) HS small forward Semi Ojeleye is having a big month on the AAU circuit.

MADISON - With the first summer high school evaluation in the books, the basketball coaches at the University of Wisconsin logged plenty of miles to events to cover recruits (heading to Indianapolis, Louisville and Minneapolis) and are expected to cover plenty more games in Las Vegas, Orlando and St. Louis.

No event, however, appeared more beneficial to the Wisconsin coaching staff than the UA Summer Jam just down the road in Mequon to watch an elite group of prospects, including Ottawa (KA) HS small forward Semi Ojeleye.

During the four-day event, Ojeleye was aggressive with his shot, used his 6-foot-6, 205-pound frame to battle in the post and was a solid contributor on defense as his AAU team, the Mo-Kan Elite, won the division championship with a triple-overtime win over its nearby rival, the Kansas City 76ers.

"It was a prestigious tournament with a lot of great teams there and a lot of coaches watching, so it was a great chance to see where you stack up," Ojeleye said. "As far as how I played, I thought I played well, but I can't be satisfied with it. I have to learn from it and try to get better."

Ojeleye, currently rated as a three-star prospect and the No.15 small forward in the country by Scout.com, got looks from all three Wisconsin assistant coaches and UW coach Bo Ryan throughout the week, but the staff was certainly busy. Not only was Ojeleye there, but Badger targets Luke Fischer (2013 Germantown (Wis.) forward), Matt Thomas (2013 Onalaska (Wis.) guard) and Kevon Looney (2014 Milwaukee forward), to name a few, all were watched by the staff.

"You could feel that everybody was a little on edge and some people were pressing a little bit with the coaches there," Ojeleye said. "You might go harder than you normally would in a regular tournament. You just try to block it out and go play."

Basketball has changed a little bit for Ojeleye over the summer months, as he's gone from a player on the cusp of getting big offers to see his recruiting stock start to go through the roof. After the Badgers became his first scholarship offer, getting the offer in June after an unofficial visit to the campus, Ojeleye has received new offers from Kansas State, Marquette, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Oregon State.

"At first, all the attention felt kind of weird, but it's given me something to play for," Ojeleye said. "You know that you have an offer, but you want to play like you are still trying to earn it to some degree."

While coaches can't talk to recruits before or after games, Ojeleye said he noticed at least one UW coach at all his games and that his relationship with associate head coach Greg Gard continues to improve. Ojeleye said he thinks UW's coaches will be watching him when he competes in St. Louis this weekend and Phoenix early next week.

"They told my coach that I got to the bucket pretty well, that I played tough and they want to see me to continue to improve on my shot, which is what I was thinking as well," said Ojeleye, who averaged 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds as a sophomore. "I know I have to keep working hard and getting better."

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