Deji Akindele

Not in any ranking or draft
Height: 6'11" (211 cm)
Weight: 236 lbs (107 kg)
Position: C
High School: Coastal Christian Academy (Virginia)
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
College: Chicago St
Current Team: Halcones Xalapa
Win - Loss: 5 - 15


Las Vegas Summer League Day Two

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Jul 13, 2008, 10:18 pm
Akindele had a great showing today. He’s a lot smoother than he used to be, making strides in almost every facet of the game. He shows some decent post tools, including a developing turnaround jump shot. While his effectiveness isn’t great, he’s heading in the right direction defensively. While he does show a better feel for the pick and roll, he still has a ton to learn. Akindele has a strong frame, and looks a little more nimble than he used to be. His wingspan doesn’t allow him to be an elite shot blocker, but he’s developed the awareness and timing to be a factor on this level defensively. Though he may not be an NBA caliber bigman, Akindele seems to have made some significant strides. His progress is at least worth keeping an eye on despite the fact that he is a little old to be as raw as he is at 25 years of age.

Deji Akindele NBA Draft Scouting Report

May 04, 2005, 03:39 am
Akindele possesses an outstanding body for an NBA center. He has great size for the position at around 7 feet tall, a fantastic wingspan and a picture perfect frame. In terms of physical attributes, and on first glace, he looks the part of a legit NBA center. He's a bit skinny at the moment, but that shouldn't be a concern at all since he has wide shoulders and plenty of room to add lots of strength once he starts hitting the NBA weight rooms.

Beyond that, Akindele is simply a fantastic athlete for a player his size. He is extremely quick off his feet and is a very good leaper, which, combined with his outstanding reach, makes him an excellent shotblocking threat. He is an extremely fluid player who gets up and down the floor with ease and moves from side to side effortlessly. He has no coordination problems at all in terms of the way he moves and reacts to things. On top of that, his footspeed is excellent, and he is extremely quick to get to whichever spots he wants to on the floor (from the post to the perimeter in the blink of an eye for example) and when he wants to, can beat most Mid-Con guards down the floor on the break.

Because of the physical attributes noted above, Akindele can (sometimes) catch a pass in the post, receive and dunk in one quick and fluid motion, get off the floor to sky for rebounds, and really intimidate opponents around the rim, especially in the conference he plays in.

Defensively, his lateral quickness is excellent, and he is extremely quick to rotate and make slashers think twice about putting up something soft that he can just swat away.

Akindele is an extremely raw basketball player in every single way you could imagine.

Defensively, Akindele is extremely foul prone and has serious problems staying on the floor for Chicago State. He either fouled out or came one foul away from doing so in all but 9 of his 28 games this season. It's not rare to see him pick up a pointless foul 90 feet away from the basket because he decided to stick his hands in a place they shouldn't be. He has serious problems resisting the urge to bite on pump fakes, and he it's not rare to see him called for goaltending or touching a ball while it's on the cylinder because his timing is often extremely off. When he does come up with a blocked shot, its always sent to the fifth row of the stands, even if it's a very soft shot that he could have simply tapped or grabbed out of the air. In terms of team defense, he often struggles with rotations and gets caught out of position. The best bet for Chicago State and what usually ends up happening is that Akindele just camps out underneath the rim for them and challenges anyone that steps into the lane with his intimidating length and leaping ability.

In terms of rebounding, he relies strictly on his size, wingspan and athletic ability, rarely using his body to box out his man, being pushed around, and often not knowing where he is situated on the court. He should be a much better rebounder in the conference he plays for than he actually is.

Offensively, he does not seem to understand what his role is on the court, and he often floats out to all kinds of places that he has no business being. His range is limited to about 3 feet around the basket. This doesn't stop him from trying to show off his perimeter shooting, though, and in the three full games I saw of him, he shot at least one horrible air-ball (and sometimes more) from 14-18 feet out, pulling up off the dribble or taking a turnaround Vince Carter-esqe jump-shot.

Inside the paint, he has yet to master the art of establishing position and sealing off his man. He looks extremely robotic and shows no sign of polished footwork or any type of post moves. Even when he is in his comfort zone inside the paint, he lacks touch on his shot and will sometimes just try to force the ball through the rim with a line drive. When he catches the ball directly underneath the basket, he will sometimes have trouble finishing because of a lack of upper body strength. He catches the ball and brings it downwards instead of holding it up high, which exposes it to being swiped away by smaller opponents. His hands aren't the best either, which results in turnovers for his team. He also has problems passing out of the double team if his shot isn't there.

In terms of free throw shooting, his mechanics are horrendous (he rushes his shot) and he converts at under a 50% clip, on a large number of attempts.

When it comes to intangibles, the picture does not get much brighter. He often looks very lazy and apathetic, jogging up and down the floor and sometimes just deciding to stay back on defense and let his team play four on five. If he does make it up, he picks and chooses his possessions and will display a serious lack of activity and intensity on the ones he takes off.

You can tell that he still has a ways to go in terms of maturity, especially when the calls aren't going his way. There isn't much fire or passion to his game, as when things go wrong he either pouts or gets very down on himself. Off the court, those who have worked closest with him over the past few years say that his work ethic is fairly poor and that you never know when he will be serious about practicing and getting better and when not. When he manages to stay out of foul trouble he gets winded quickly, as his body is not in optimal shape.

Despite the fact that he was often 6 inches taller than anyone else on the floor in his conference, he was not a difference maker for his team and they ended up going a disappointing 9-19 on the season.

Played in the Mid-Con conference, which sent 12-18 Oakland to the NCAA tournament via the conference tournament. Chicago State finished 9-19 on the season, after scheduling an extremely tough out of conference schedule and starting off the year 0-7.

Some of the tougher teams Chicago State played this year and how Akindele fared:

@UCLA: 0 points, 1 rebounds, 1 block, 5 fouls, 13 minutes (9 point loss)

@Illinois: 14 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 4 fouls, 37 minutes (19 point loss)

@Minnesota: 17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 fouls, 32 minutes (10 point loss)

@Texas A&M: 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 5 fouls, 19 minutes (20 points loss)

Akindele has declared himself eligible for this year's draft without an agent. "I'm ready for this challenge and I'm interested in testing the waters and showing my ability to the NBA," Akindele said in a news release. "I'm thankful for Chicago State University and coach (Kevin) Jones for helping me grow up and mature as a basketball player."

He is currently working out at Hoops the gym in Chicago with Tim Grover.

At this time I don't think that Akindele has shown enough to warrant a place in the late first round. Because of how the NBA draft works, though, strictly off potential, it's possible that a team that does not like the current crop of players out there could offer him a guarantee in the first round because of his size and athleticism. He is a player that is capable of looking outstanding in workouts.

Akindele needs to get as much playing time as he can get, and with the way he looked in the three games I saw of his this year, he is 2-3 years away from even being able to get off someone's injured reserve.

He is not your typical NCAA sophomore in terms of age either, as he's 22 years old instead of 19 or 20 as most college sophomores are.

Mid-Con Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in blocked shots with 2.5 per game.

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