Duke signee Semi Ojeleye named Parade Magazine Player of the Year

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For all the accolades heaped upon Kansas signee Andrew Wiggins (and deservedly so), Parade Magazine went with another player for its 2012-13 Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.

Semi Ojeleye, a Duke signee from Ottawa, Kansas, averaged more than 38 points per game this season while also getting the job done in the classroom to the tune of a 4.0 grade-point average.

Because of those achievements, Ojeleye was named the recipient of Parade’s highest individual honor on Saturday.

This past season, Ojeleye’s high school team went 25-0 and captured its state title, while he set career and senior-year scoring records (2,763 and 952 points, respectively) for the state of Kansas. No mean feat, especially when you consider that the career mark had stood for 17 years. Along with his ability to score, he also averaged nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals a game. He also shot 38 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the free-throw line.

The other finalists for the honor were Wiggins, fellow Kansas signee Conner Frankamp, Arizona signee Aaron Gordon, and Oklahoma State signee Stevie Clark.

Parade also announced its All-America Team, which traditionally is a long list that includes players headed to a variety of schools. While nationally-known powers such as Duke, Kansas and Kentucky show up annually, colleges such as North Dakota State, South Dakota State and UC Irvine are also represented on the 2013 list.

The tallest member on the Parade All-America Team is UC Irvine signee Mamadou Ndiaye, who is 7-5 and has the potential to be an impact player in the Big West next season.

And if you’re keeping count as to which college has the highest number of future players on the team, that honor goes to Kentucky. The Wildcats have four players on the list: guards Aaron Harrison and Dominique Hawkins, wing James Young and forward Marcus Lee.

The full list of Parade All-Americans:

Name Pos. High School Ht. College*
A.J. Jacobson F Shanley (Fargo, N.D.) 6-6 North Dakota St.
Aaron Gordon F Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 6-8 Arizona
Aaron Harrison G Travis (Richmond, Texas) 6-5 Kentucky
Anders Broman G Lakeview Christian Academy (Duluth, Minn.) 6-1 South Dakota St.
Andrew Wiggins F Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.V.) 6-8 Kansas
Austin Nichols F Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) 6-8 Memphis
Bobby Portis F Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-10 Arkansas
Brannen Greene G Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 6-7 Kansas
Bryce Alford G La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) 6-3 UCLA
Chris Walker F Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.) 6-9 Florida
Conner Frankamp G North (Wichita, Kan.) 6-1 Kansas
Cullen Neal G Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.) 6-4 New Mexico
Derrick Walton Jr. G Chandler Park Academy (Harper Woods, Mich.) 6-1 Michigan
De’Runnya Wilson F Wenonah (Birmingham, Ala.) 6-6 Mississippi State
Dominique Hawkins G Madison Central (Richmond, Ky.) 6-1 Kentucky
Garet Beal F Jonesport-Beals (Jonesport, Maine) 6-6 Maine
Isaiah Hicks F J.F. Webb (Oxford, N.C.) 6-8 North Carolina
Jabari Parker F Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 6-8 Duke
James Young G Rochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) 6-6 Kentucky
Jarell Martin F Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) 6-8 LSU
Jon Severe G Christ The King (Queens, N.Y.) 6-2 Fordham
Luke Fischer C Germantown (Wis.) 6-10 Indiana
Mamadou Ndiaye C Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 7-5 Cal-Irvine
Marc Loving F St. John’s (Toledo, Ohio) 6-8 Ohio State
Marcus Allen G Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) 6-4 Stanford
Marcus Foster G Hirschi (Wichita Falls (Texas) 6-2 Kansas State
Marcus Lee F Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.) 6-9 Kentucky
Monte Morris G Beecher (Flint, Mich.) 6-1 Iowa State
Nick King F Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-7 Memphis
Nigel Williams-Goss G Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-3 Washington
Peter Jok F Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) 6-6 Iowa
Ricky Seals-Jones F Sealy (Texas) 6-5 Texas A&M
Roschon Prince G Poly (Long Beach, Cali.) 6-5 USC
Rysheed Jordan G Vaux (Philadelphia) 6-3 St. John’s
Semi Ojeleye F Ottawa (Kan.) 6-6 Duke
Steve Vasturia G St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-5 Notre Dame
Stevie Clark G Douglass (Oklahoma City) 5-10 Oklahoma State
Tyler Ennis G St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) 6-2 Syracuse
Zach LaVine G Bothell (Wash.) 6-4 UCLA
Zak Irvin G Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) 6-6 Michigan

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in a growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.

Blue Ribbon release college basketball preseason top 25, all-american teams

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Blue Ribbon, the college basketball bible, has released their top 25 and preseason all-american awards, the first publication to do so as far as I know.

Their top five — Arizona, Michigan State, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky — contains the same teams as my top five will, only in a different order. The only crazy ranking that I see in their top 25 comes with Miami checking in at No. 16. I have a feeling they are going to end up regretting that by the end of the season.

What is somewhat crazy, however, is Blue Ribbon’s all-american teams.

Bonzie Colson is their Preseason National Player of the Year. That’s not my pick, but it’s justifiable. But having Miles Bridges as a second-team preseason all-american? Angel Delgado as a fourth-team preseason all-american? I disagree with both of those picks.

But that will all play out during the season.

And, frankly, I haven’t exactly had the best track record predicting all-americans in recent years, not after I opted to rate Skal Labissiere as a first-team preseason all-american over Buddy Hield.

That was a miss.

It happens to the best of us.

But I feel pretty comfortable saying that Miles Bridges as a second-team preseason all-american will end up being a miss.

4-star center commits to Purdue

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With Vince Edwards and Isaac Haas entering their senior seasons, adding front court options in the 2018 class was something that Purdue needed to do. Purdue added its second front court commitment in the 2018 class Tuesday evening, as four-star center Emmanuel Dowuona reportedly made his pledge. News of Dowuona’s commitment was first reported by the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

Dowuona, a 6-foot-11 big man who attends Westwood Christian School in Miami, joins fellow four-star prospect Trevion Williams in Purdue’s 2018 class to date.

Dowuona’s commitment comes just days before he was reportedly to visit Tennessee. Among the other programs to have offered Duwuona were Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and UConn.

Dowuona played for the Team Breakdown program on the Under Armour Association circuit during the summer, averaging 7.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 59.3 percent from the field. While still a bit raw offensively, the native of Ghana provides value as a defender and rebounder. Dowuona is joining a program that during Painter’s tenure as head coach has done a good job of developing big men.

Dowuona and the aforementioned Williams will look to compete for playing time in 2018-19 alongside current redshirt junior Jacquil Taylor and 7-foot-3 redshirt freshman center Matt Haarms.

Dayton freshman Toppin ineligible for 2017-18 season

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Dayton announced Tuesday afternoon that one of the program’s incoming freshmen will not be eligible to compete this season. 6-foot-8 forward Obadiah Toppin has been ruled by the NCAA to have not met initial eligibility requirements, and he will have to sit out the 2017-18 season as a result.

Toppin will be allowed to remain a member of the team and participate in practices, and he will have four seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2018-19 season. While the NCAA’s decision leaves the Flyers short a front court option in head coach Anthony Grant’s first season at the helm, it did not come as a surprise.

“We knew this was a possible scenario for Obi early on in the recruiting process,” Grant said in the release. “And if it came to pass, we saw this as a chance for him to utilize this year acclimate as a student and enhance his strength and skill as an academic redshirt. This is a great opportunity for Obi to develop as a player and student over the next 12 months, and prepare himself for a very successful college career.”

Toppin, who averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game at Mt. Zion Academy last season, is one of five freshmen who have joined the program. Matej Svoboda and Jordan Pierce will look to earn minutes alongside returnees Josh Cunningham and Xeyrius Williams, and the same can be said for redshirt freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo.

Toppin being declared ineligible is the third hit Dayton has taken to its front court this offseason. Ryan Mikesell, who played in 32 games last season, will redshirt after undergoing two hip surgeries. And Sam Miller, who was also part of the team’s front court rotation last season, was suspended from school for the fall semester after he was arrested during the summer.

Four-star forward commits to Ohio State

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Ohio State is on the board with regards to the 2018 recruiting class, as Chris Holtmann’s program received a much-needed verbal commitment from four-star forward Jaedon LeDee. The 6-foot-9 Houston native announced his decision via his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon.

In receiving a verbal commitment from LeDee, Ohio State beat out California, Houston, Iowa State, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA. The Buckeyes hosted LeDee for his official visit the weekend of September 9, which coincided with the football team’s matchup with Oklahoma. Originally scheduled to visit Cal this past weekend, LeDee instead visited Texas A&M.

With LeDee’s commitment to Ohio State, visits to LSU (September 30) and UCLA (October 6) are likely off the board.

Currently attending the Kincaid School, LeDee played for the Texas PRO grassroots program on the adidas Uprising circuit this summer. The four-star prospect will likely be a combo forward for Ohio State, playing either the three or the four depending on the matchup.

With Jae’Sean Tate beginning his senior season and Keita Bates-Diop being a redshirt junior, Ohio State had a need to address in the front court. In landing a verbal pledge from Jaedon LeDee, the Buckeyes have done just that.

Among the front court players who will have eligibility remaining beyond the 2017-18 season are Bates-Diop, current sophomores Micah Potter and Andre Wesson, and freshmen Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young.