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Old 11-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke

#1 player in the HS class of 2014, just committed to Duke this week. Could be a franchise center, or another overhyped big man given his supposed defensive weaknesses. I'm not sure Duke is the best spot for him, but his final list included Baylor, Kansas, and Kentucky.

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Jahlil-Okafor-6469/
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Okafor established position inside the paint at will thanks to his massive frame, and then unleashed a barrage of phenomenal post moves time after time to score points virtually whenever he pleased. He drew fouls at a steady rate simply by catching the ball and being aggressive, being very difficult to contain thanks to his unique combination of power, finesse and smarts. His arsenal includes a variety drop-steps, spin-moves, up and unders and jump-hooks with either hand, as he was clearly the most fundamentally sound post-player in attendance despite only just having completed his high school senior year.

Not just a brute force with his back to the basket, Okafor can also operate in the mid-post as well, showing the ability to create his own shot off the dribble with a strong first step, great patience, outstanding footwork and soft touch around the basket.

In addition to his excellent skill-level, Okafor impresses with his willingness to play inside, not being afraid of playing through contact with the older players here in Colorado Springs. He clearly realizes what his strengths are and didn't shy away from banging inside even when things got very physical inside the paint, which is a good sign for his transition from high school to college and eventually the NBA.

Defensively, Okafor is a major presence inside thanks to his terrific frame and 7-3 wingspan, but his lack of experience shows much more on this end of the floor than it does offensively. He has a difficult time stepping out onto the perimeter due to his average lateral quickness, and isn't much of a rim protector as he does not possess tremendous explosiveness rotating over from the weak-side. He is a very good rebounder, though, doing a nice job cleaning up the glass on both ends of the floor.

Okafor appeared to be a lock to make the team from the very first moment he stepped on the floor thanks to his advanced skill-set and feel for the game, as he's simply a game-changer inside the paint that very few international teams will have an answer for. The US squad will likely look to utilize him heavily every time he steps on the floor, and he'll surely play a major role in any success this team has.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

Since the 2014 draft is now over, I figured it would be time to start looking forward.

I really like his offensive arsenal. He isn't afraid of contact, has good footwork and a soft touch. His wingspan is also pretty impressive (7'3"). He is one of my favorites for the 2015 draft, even though he is a Blue Devil.

Here is a highlight tape of his senior year:

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Old 07-11-2014, 07:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

Looking forward to seeing how he plays in the ACC. The very early favorite to go #1 next year.

It would be hilarious if Philly got him.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

Looking forward to seeing how he plays in the ACC. The very early favorite to go #1 next year.

It would be hilarious if Philly got him.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

Drooling Over Potential: Jahlil Okafor Dominates Presbyterian In His College Debut
What We Talk About When We Talk About Jahlil Okafor

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Old 11-16-2014, 10:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

He's scary good. I know it was only Presbyterian, but his touch, his hands, footwork, everything looked really good.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

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Originally Posted by JonMatrix View Post
Looking forward to seeing how he plays in the ACC. The very early favorite to go #1 next year.

It would be hilarious if Philly got him.
I can already see the @Ballscientist posts...

"OKAFOR=DUNCAN! EMBIID=OLAJUWON! NOEL=MUTOMBO! Best NBA big man rotation EVER?!"
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

I think it's a forgone conclusion that the Sixers are going Mudiay unless Embiid turns out to be made of glass.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

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I think it's a forgone conclusion that the Sixers are going Mudiay unless Embiid turns out to be made of glass.
Agreed. Seems like the only logical place for them to go. If Saric turns out to be the ideal glue guy that I think he'll be, this could be a good team for a long time.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

If I am the Sixers I would just take Okafor in my opinion Mudiay is not good enough to pass on Okafor especially when you factor in injury concerns with Noel and Embiid.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - Chicago, IL (committed to Duke)

Next in line: Freshman Jahlil Okafor ready to take mantle as Duke's star
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke

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Old 11-25-2014, 11:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke

I hope for Okafor's sake that he doesn't go to the Sixers. No telling how much longer they're going to tank for. If you are Philly you have to take the best player, what they have is crap and if the best player is playing the same position as players you have already, you draft him and then you trade someone for guys who aren't crap.

Seriously Philadelphia doesn't seem to have a guy who is going to be a real building block. MCW is just another guy when it comes to NBA point guards. There are only a handful of NBA teams he could start for right now. Wroten is a 7th man on a good team. Embiid and Noel are projects. There's no way you can start off with those three guys and get any place unless you find three other guys who are better than them.
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke

How Temple And Stanford Contained Jahlil Okafor
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke

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Okafor’s low-post game is unusually polished for his age. He is overpowering and subtle, understands angles — hence his penchant for old-school bank shots — and is an effective passer out of inevitable double-teams. How he fares against Virginia’s swarming interior defense Jan. 31 in Charlottesville will be fascinating.

"He’s a great, dominant low-post presence,” Winslow said. “We try to feed him as much as possible. It’s going to make our lives easier. Whenever he gets the ball, I try to cut or space out, give him room to go to work. At the same time we lean on Jai, he leans on us. He needs us, and we need him. … I’ve just been learning to play with him. I know where he likes the ball, what moves he likes to do.”

“Jahlil’s a special talent,” Sulaimon said. “As big as he is, he has great hands, a great feel for the game. As his teammates, we encourage him to be that dominant presence that we know he can be.”
Heralded Duke freshmen embrace old-school fundamentals
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