Ojeleye recaps official visit to Duke

He committed a while ago, and this past weekend 6'6 small forward Semi Ojeleye made his official visit to Durham. It was the five star prospect's first visit since making his decision. On Sunday night he sat down with TDD to provide a recap.

TDD: Who accompanied you on the visit?

Semi Ojeleye: It was just my mom and my dad with me.

This was your dad's first trip to Duke, correct? What were his impressions?

He said he loved it. He said the trees and everything were beautiful, and he said it's really a family up there. He was very pleased.

Did you approach the visit with specific ideas or questions?

Not really. I was already committed, and my mind was already made up because I had gone before on an unofficial visit. Going in this time, it was different because they knew I was coming. Everything was a lot more comfortable, and it was much better than i expected.

What made it "better than expected ?"

Just that everybody was even more comfortable with me. Even meeting the guys, you would think they might not like you or something because you are coming in and are competing for minutes, but it was the exact opposite. The guys were welcoming to me. I also spent a lot of time with the coaches, and had a good time.

Who was your host?

I spent a good amount of time with the coaches, but I got to spend some time and go to class with Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson as well. It was a health science class and then we ate dinner with the coaches and the Plumlee brothers, it was all cool.

What did you think of Amile and Rasheed?

Yeah, there's a lot of similarities between us. I really liked them a lot. I felt like they just like being there and playing ball like me, and we'll get along well when I get there.

Now that you've gotten a chance to spend time with the players, what did you learn about them?

They really are regular guys. They are on the Division One level so they obviously take their craft seriously, but they like to have fun though and they are fun to be around, bunch of good guys.

What was going through your mind as you were on the way to Duke?

Really, I was just looking forward to being away from working out and preparing for the season. It was nice just having a nice break to take my mind off everything.

What kind of questions did your parents have going in?

Not much to be honest. My dad didn't really have much he wanted to ask. He wanted to just see what's going on there. Now, with my mom, she's peppered them with questions from day one, but they really answered a lot of our questions. It was great, they made us comfortable.

How did the visit get started once you were officially on the visit?

We got there in the afternoon on Thursday, then Friday morning they got it started. I went to class right away, then we met with the Dean of Admission because we had met him before, but my dad hadn't. Then we met with the team's Academic Advisor. After that we went to the pre-game meal with the team, and watched the game after that.

Can you recap the meetings with the Dean of Admissions and Academic Advisor?

They talked with me about my degree program, which I'm pretty sure is going to be Psychology and then they have questions for you. They pretty much talk with you about life outside of basketball. It's just a friendly chat. I was pretty comfortable with them. Kenny King goes over what guys do to be successful with their academics, and he's really prepared with class schedules and how guys take care of that stuff. He went over things I need to write and pull together for my admission to Duke.

What were/are your impressions of how Kenny structures the academic support system for athletes?

I think it's going to be really really good for me. They really do a lot to help the guys with that, and there's a ton of tutors to help you. Really it's just about your willingness to do the work. If you are willing, they will work with you to help you succeed at Duke.

What did you think of the pre game shoot-around?

At most schools guys just kinda shoot around the game and I know in high school that happens a lot, but they went over high ball screens and how they would defend that. It was a good amount of teaching.

You hear Coach K encourage his assistants to have voices in practice, was that something you noticed?

Yes, you definitely notice that the assistants are involved. Coach Capel, Coach James, Coach Collins and Coach Wojo... they are all there the whole time and they all say things in different times, it's really an entire coaching staff that works.

What was different for you in seeing them coach instead of just recruiting you?

It was good because seeing them coach, you know they will coach you the same. It just confirmed it's going to be a great experience for me at Duke, they showed me how they would treat me at Duke, which was good.

Did the Cameron Crazies welcome you?

Yeah, I had heard they were talking about me on Twitter before I came, but it was great watching the players during the game.

What did you think of the style of play this year's team is using?

I could see myself out there. There were a lot of open spots and guys had a lot of driving lanes to attack the zone. We talked with the coaches about how guys were able to get shots in the game. They asked me what I thought, and I told them that it was a good game, and I could tell some guys were nervous because it being their first game of the season.

How much conversation did you have with the coaches about your role next year at Duke?

We talked some, and they told me they really wanted me to become more aggressive on the court. There's some things that I kinda hold back on, and that's the main thing Coach K wants me to work on. He told me to take more shots. I know that sounds weird, but just taking more opportunities to score and create for my teammates.

How did Saturday go on the visit?

We met with Coach Will, the strength coach first. He talked about what they do the day before the game to get ready and how they recover the next day and how they work out. Then I got to get shots up in Cameron which was nice, and then we went to the Union and I bought some shirts for people back home. It was kinda surreal getting shots up in Cameron…it's just a good feeling. It'll be great just to play basketball in there. I was shooting while the team was lifting.

What were your impressions of the strength program at Duke?

It's good. A lot of coaches they'll talk about just getting stronger, but Coach Will gears the training towards getting ready to be effective on the court and lifting to make you a better basketball player. He said I have a good frame, so he's going to work on getting me as strong as possible while also keeping me flexible. He wants to avoid me getting tight. He wants me to be loose as possible.

What was the communication like with Coach K?

We didn't spend as much time in his office like we did the last time. We talked mostly during meals with him and at different points in the visit. We ate breakfast with him too. So most of the communication was informal.

What did the meal time conversation center around?

It was really everything. He spent a good amount of time getting to know my parents, and he talked with me about how excited he is about me coming to Duke. That was good to hear, and there was all of his experience and knowledge. He talked about relationships and building relationships with people…it's not always just about basketball with Coach K. You have to treat people well and how important that it is. He talked about how blessed I am to come from a good family and how that'll help me at Duke.

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