Is Semi Ojeleye the best basketball player in the State of Kansas?

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

Rightfully, a big debate between high school coaches around the State of Kansas is who's better - Wichita Heights' Perry Ellis or Olathe Northwest's Willie Cauley.

I prefer Cauley, but obviously Ellis deserves all the love in the world for how good he's been.

However, four games into the season, a third name should be tossed into the debate of who the best player is in the Sunflower State.

Ottawa small forward Semi Ojeleye is off to an incredible start this year.

I keep tabs of all 4A and 5A teams in Kansas simply because a Washington or Sumner Academy could run into them in March. With Ottawa being in 4A, they are always on my radar.

That radar has went nuts this year due to Ojeleye's performances.

We talked about his first game of the season - a 36-point effort against St. James Academy and Clint McCullough, another very respectable forward in the state of Kansas.

Against weaker competition in the Topside Tipoff, Ojeleye simply went off.

In three tournament games, he had 110 points - a new tournament record. Doing the math at home, that's nearly a 37 point average in three games.

In Ottawa's 72-49 victory in the championship game, he had 45 points - 29 of which came before the first half buzzer. Ojeleye had 39 points and he was 10-of-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from three in the second round of that tournament.

The knock on Ojeleye will probably be the fact that Ottawa's schedule has been weaker than Olathe Northwest or Wichita Heights. That's fair game and it's a topic worth discussing.

However, he had very good games against both Sumner Academy in the state title game in 4A last year and against Schlagle, two athletic teams who had winning seasons last year. That came as a sophomore.

When he's played against good competition, Ojeleye has not crumbled like you might expect him too. Sure, he didn't put up 45 against Sumner Academy or Schlagle, but he did have a 20-point game against both of them.

I saw him in person against Schlagle last year and I occasionally watch him on Internet streams. He's very good with the ball and can dominate in the post or on the wing.

He's definitely a Division 1 prospect and has offers and is receiving interest from Big 12 and Big 10 schools, most notably Kansas State, Missouri, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

His game easily translates into big time college basketball. Ottawa doesn't dump him in the post simply because he's the tallest player.

Ottawa uses him all over the court, which gives him a great opportunity to build up his skill level.

Oh, and he's just a junior.