Kansas State has ramped up its interest in Duke transfer Semi Ojeleye, according to his former AAU basketball coach.
Though the Wildcats waited more than 24 hours after Ojeleye’s transfer was announced to reach out to the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward from Ottawa, Mokan Elite coach Matt Suther said Thursday that K-State has been in steady contact since.
“Kansas State would love to have him,” Suther said by phone. “They are definitely talking to him and have ties to his family with his older brother, Victor, playing there.”
Victor played at K-State as a walk-on from 2008-12.
One problem K-State will face in the recruiting process: It does not have a scholarship to offer. The Wildcats signed three high school players in their 2015 recruiting class to offset the future loss of seniors Thomas Gipson and Nino Williams, as well as transfer Jack Karapetyan
“They don’t have a scholarship available for the spring semester,” Suther said. “They would love to have him, it’s just about getting over that hurdle.”
K-State recruited Ojeleye when he was in high school, but did not make his final list.
The Wildcats are one of many schools currently showing interest in Ojeleye, including Kansas, Missouri and Wichita State. Suther said at least three schools from every power conference have contacted Ojeleye in some form.
“It’s just phone call after phone call after phone call,” Suther said. “It’s a good thing he has all this interest. He and his family are going through the process of dwindling the list down to what schools they want to go visit. They kind of approached it wide open. In a lot of cases when a kid transfers they have a new school in mind.
“That wasn’t the case here. He has listened to schools that recruited him the first time and schools that did not.”
Ojeleye averaged three points and 2.3 rebounds in six games for the Blue Devils this season, seeking a transfer in hopes of increased playing time. He was among the nation’s highest rated recruits coming out of high school.
Suther said Ojeleye will narrow his interest on transfer destinations soon.