Semi's Stock Continues to Rise

Wisconsin was the first school to offer Ottawa (KS) small forward Semi Ojeleye in June. Even though the four-star prospect has double-digit offers, Ojeleye hasn't forgotten about Wisconsin, which is one of the hardest schools recruiting him.

MADISON - After taking an unofficial visit to the UW campus over the summer, Semi Ojeleye returned home with his first scholarship offer. If the Badgers were hoping he'd stay under the radar, Ojeleye has made that decision backfire in a hurry.

After an impressive summer that continued to send his stock upward, Ojeleye has risen as one of the top forwards in the country, a ranking he proved was warranted when the 6-6, 215-pound Ottawa (KS) High School junior dropped 50 points in a 103-70 victory.

It has gotten to the point where every time he stepped on the court, he feels there is a new school there that is taking a closer look at him.

"That's definitely what's been happening," Ojeleye said. "It's been growing and growing. I don't even keep track anymore of my offers."

For the record, Butler, Kansas State, Marquette, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon State, Oklahoma State and, most recently, UCLA have extended Ojeleye – a four-star recruit rated the No.12 small forward in the country by Scout.com – a scholarship, but what he pays attention to are the school that have continue to recruit him at a high level.

For Ojeleye, those schools are Missouri (head coach Frank Haith was in attendance for Ojeleye's 50-point game), Kansas State (where his older brother, Victor, is a senior) and Wisconsin, which attended the majority of his AAU games this past summer.

"They are always calling, they are always coming to my games and they are always checking on me," said Ojeleye of the UW coaches. "I know a lot about the school and about the coaches. It's almost like I am already signed with them because I know what going there would be like. I really like them."

But is Wisconsin the favorite?

"They definitely near the top of the list right now because of how hard they are recruiting me," said Ojeleye. "Coach Gard came down to practice last month and he's caught a few games. I see him quite a bit."

Ojeleye visited Missouri unofficially at the end of January, but has no future visits planned as he tries to narrow down his list.

"I want to wait and see who else comes along because if I would have committed to Wisconsin in June, I wouldn't have given other schools a chance to recruit me," said Ojeleye. "I would like to make my decision before my senior year but if it doesn't feel right then, I'll just keep praying and waiting."

Ojeleye, who averaged 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore, is averaging close to 30 points per game and has seen a direct change in how he approaches the game.

"I think I am more consistent with my shooting now," said Ojeleye. "Some defenders are stepping out on me, so that allows me to get to the basket. I am attacking more and when things aren't going my way, I don't get as frustrated, knowing that I have the opportunity to finish the game out. The goal for me is to keep getting better."


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