15 - Jahlil Okafor

6-11, 270 Center
Duke Freshman
12/15/95 (27.1 yrs)
Chicago, IL
High School
Whitney Young
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Brook Lopez/Al Jefferson

Strengths: One of the most advanced low-post scorers the college game has seen in quite some time … Huge frame with strength that helps him establish post position on a regular basis … Gigantic, soft hands, looks like there is a volleyball in his hand at times … Post footwork is excellent for a player his size, very quick on his feet when he is close to the hoop … Feel for the game is excellent, tends to make his move as soon as he feels contact and can go over either shoulder, baseline or middle … Double teamed constantly, has a nice ability to dribble out of it without getting trapped and is a solid passer out of the low post … Legitimate center size, 6’11 with an approximate 7’5 wingspan, making him that much more difficult to stop, while making him at least a difficult presence to shoot over at the basket … Played 30.3 mpg, really seemed to work on his body and ran quite a bit better than he did in high school, his conditioning has not been as much of an issue as in the past … Very soft touch around the basket while getting quite a few shots, has shot an incredible 66.8% FG … While he is not an explosive leaper, his improved conditioning has given him more lift and really helped him run the floor and be part of the transition game … Difficult to keep off of the offensive glass, plus very dangerous when given second shot opportunities … Has potential to be a factor in the pick-and-roll, definitely someone difficult to stop when he has some momentum going to the basket … Very difficult to defend one-on-one, constantly draws attention from the defense down low, leading to a lot of open looks for perimeter players …  Draws a lot of fouls, had nearly 100 more fouls drawn than committed … Strength to go through contact … Has appeared to be quite coachable, plus while he does display intensity at times, never really seems to lose his cool

Weaknesses: While his conditioning at Duke was a great sign, he is the type of player who will need to work on this constantly and can still tone his body to maximize his athletic potential … Lacks great lateral quickness and is not an explosive leaper … Could be much more of a presence as a defensive rebounder, will miss box outs and find himself out of position … While he shows a soft touch near the hoop, has struggled from the FT line for a majority of the year, only shooting 51.1% FT … Not a player that will stretch the floor, which some consider a downside as far as where the league is headed … Can struggle against length and athleticism, will have a much tougher time creating offense in the post … Struggled defending the pick-and-roll at times, will be that much more difficult in the NBA … Even if he did have a really high number of possessions used, his turnovers numbers were quite high, will be something to work on … His effort level has been under a microscope at times, some wonder whether he goes hard every possession … Lack of athleticism will hurt on defense, which might not make him the most ideal “franchise big man”, hard to name players who have had successful teams around them who have struggled defending the post … Foul trouble was not a major issue, but it might become more of one upon facing pro speed … Not a natural shot blocker, usually gets blocks with length alone and rarely leaves his feet, not an ideal rim protector … While he got fouled quite often, he really did not take as many FT’s as one would think, possible reluctance to get to the line? … Post skills are fantastic, though adding a nice bank shot or hook shot might be an area of focus to further diversify his offense

Notes: Measured 6’10 (in shoes) 272 lbs, with a 7’3 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy … Measured 6’10.75 (in shoes) 272 lbs, with a 7’5 wingspan and 9’2.5 standing reach at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit … Three time gold medal winner for Team USA during the 2011 U16 FIBA Americas, the 2012 U17 World Championships and the 2013 U19 World Championship … Three-time first team all-state pick by the Chicago Sun-Times … 2014 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year, as well as earning honors from USA Today and Parade … 2014 Mr. Basketball Illinois … Averaged 17.5 ppg (7.4 FGM-11.1 FGA, 66.8% FG), 8.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 bpg and 0.8 spg in 30.3 mpg during his freshman season … USBWA 2015 National Freshman of the Year … Near unanimous first team All-American, finalist for Wooden and Naismith National Player of the Year Awards … Named 2015 ACC Player of the Year by the conference coaches … Distant cousin of former UConn and NBA player, Emeka Okafor … Is of Nigerian descent, through his paternal grandfather … Has been one of the most dominant offensive forces as soon as he hit the NCAA … With his size, post repertoire and instinct close to the basket, should be a really difficult match-up, even at the next level … His defense is seen as a weakness, though has size and with increased effort, could at least end up not being a liability … Hard to see many centers stopping him if he continues to progress, even without explosive athleticism, he moves like a ballerina in the post and seems to find ways to create shots … Will be tougher to establish post position in the NBA, but not many guys are going to be as strong as this young big man … Conditioning will be a major key to reaching his potential and becoming as high level of player as possible … Looks to immediately become one of the more difficult centers to defend in the league and someone a team will be quite happy to have as their man in the middle … Favorite for the #1 pick for a majority of the season, figures to go no lower than 3rd in the 2015 Draft …

Michael Visenberg 4//3/15

Strengths: Big, powerful body with huge hands, palms the ball easily which allows him to control rebounds in traffic … Polished, skilled back to the basket scorer with a variety of moves … Smooth for his size, solid rebounder, very good IQ, plays to his strengths, knows his limitations and doesn’t try to do things that he can’t do … NBA body and strength, quick feet for a player with such a big frame … Has great moves and counters, the footwork of an NBA vet, soft touch around basket … Heady passer out of double teams … Understands how to establish position and knows how to use his body, never rushes his move and plays with great pace and patience … savvy beyond his years for a young post player, rebounds his area …

Weaknesses: Not a great athlete, rebounder, or shot blocker … Lack of athleticism and ability to be a game changer on the defensive end limits his upside … Has trouble moving his feet in pick and roll situations … Not a great shooter and doesn’t offer much in terms of pick and pop situations … Doesn’t rebound out of his area … Doesn’t impact the game defensively … Has problems finishing over length due to the fact that he’s not an explosive athlete … Conditioning has been an issue, though he has shown solid dedication to improving his body … Lack of athleticism will hurt him at the NBA level … Close to being a finished product, lacks great upside, will be dominant in college …

Overall: Has been described by some pundits as having amongst the best set of post skills ever seen on the high school level … Dominant high school player who will be a dominant college player likely for a year … Polished low post scorer, but doesn’t project as a dominant scorer or rebounder at the pro level …

Ian Powers 9/3/13

Another talented young big man and another talented kid from Chicago. Okafor is a cousin of 2004 #2 overall pick Emeka Okafor. The younger Okafor is man down on the box. His offensive game is advanced for such a young prospect. He has great feet and hands and has the makings of a dominant low post scorer. He understands his game and rarely leaves the painted area. He flashed an ability to step out and knock down the 15 footer, but he will make his living down on the box. He is almost impossible to move off the box. He lacks a go to move right now, but time is on his side. With young big kids like him, conditioning is an issue. He has done a decent job of conditioning his body but he has a ways to go before he will be in optimal shape. He has the look of a true back to the basket big in college and in the league.

Ian Powers 6/25/11

Notes: Measured 6’10 (in shoes) 272 lbs, with a 7’3 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy