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Discussion Starter #1
#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/
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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Through The Wire
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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. :hibbert:

Here is a highlight tape of his senior year:

 

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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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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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Through The Wire
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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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Restore the Roar
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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.
I can already see the @Ballscientist posts...

"OKAFOR=DUNCAN! EMBIID=OLAJUWON! NOEL=MUTOMBO! Best NBA big man rotation EVER?!"
 

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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.
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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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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Limehouse Blues
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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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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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And Justise For All
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I say it to anyone who mentions him, but I love his ability to pass out of the post. That's a very underrated part to his game, especially if you can put a shooter on the floor with him.

I watched a handful of Whitney Young games last year, and he relied heavily on the chicken wing move which clearly is still an issue for him.
 

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Jahlil Okafor, turned in this second consecutive game with 20 or more points for Duke (7-0). Following up on his 24-point night in Duke’s 93-54 win over Furman last Wednesday, Okafor scored 21 points with eight rebounds against Army.

Okafor’s slam dunk off a pass from Jones gave Duke its first double-digit lead at 21-11 in the first half.

Later in the half, after a stubborn Army team cut Duke’s lead to 37-28, Jones fed Okafor for another slam dunk.

On Duke’s next possession, its last of the first half, Jones drove the lane and scored on a bank shot to put the Blue Devils up 41-28 at intermission.

In the second half, Jones’ lob pass to Okafor on an in-bounds play resulted in a thunderous slam dunk that pushed Duke’s lead to 51-35.

Army pulled as close as 11 points one more time at 58-47 with 13:12 to play. But a Jones pass to Okafor for another slam dunk ignited a 12-2 Duke run that allowed the Blue Devils to push their lead over 20 points at 70-49.
http://www.heraldsun.com/sports/colleges/x761895431/Okafor-Jones-lead-Duke-past-Army
 

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NBA Scout Says Comparing Jahlil Okafor to Connie Hawkins is ‘Insane’

In advance of Wednesday’s tilt between No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 4 Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan compared Duke big man Jahlil Okafor to the legendary Connie Hawkins.

To be fair to Ryan, he seemed to mostly be comparing the size of their hands.

“You see him grab that one ball against Stanford or somebody?” Ryan asked reporters. “I thought it was Connie Hawkins out there. For the young people here, he had really big hands.”

Ryan then explained to the younger reporters that Hawkins “was a guy,” lest they think Hawkins was a woman.

“I haven’t seen him dance, but I bet he can dance,” Ryan said of Okafor, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. “He’s got good feet. That baseline move he has, he’s pretty good that way. You can put names on guys, McDonald’s All-American Player of the Year, Freshman Player Of The Year, but he backs it up, just like the guy before him.”

One NBA scout who professed great respect for Ryan told SNY.tv the comparison was “insane.”

“I think Bo Ryan is a tremendous coach, but to compare someone who can’t jump off the ground to a high-flyer like Connie Hawkins is insane,” the scout said.

The kid at Duke is like Al Jefferson at New Orleans. All of his moves are below the basket. He’s an old school, highly-skilled post player. That’s what he is. Connie Hawkins, Julius Irving, Michael Jordan, they use to call those guys sky-walkers.

“Okafor is Earth-bound. He’s very talented, and he’s great to watch and he’s put in all kinds of time and he’s a terrific offensive player but flying through the air is not what he does. That’s what Connie Hawkins did. That’s what he did.”
 

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