Key Stats: 8.6 ppg, 9.9 rpg (including conference best 11 per in ACC play), 1.1 apg, 1.4 bpg, 50% FG, 73% FTs.
Best Game(s): 11/28 Vs South Alabama - 13 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 blocks &
1/13 Vs Duke - 10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals, guarded Jahlil Okafor &
2/28 Vs VT - 15 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists in 28 minutes.
Worst Game: 2/1 Vs FSU - 4 points, 5 rebounds in 32 minutes.
What he does well: The ongoing theme for most players in this series has been lack a lack of consistency. Not so with TJ. Jekiri brought it each and every game, playing with a fire and hustle few players in the conference can match. That intensity allowed him to be one of the best rebounding centers in all of college hoops. Jekiri also clearly improved on the defensive end, and while his shot blocking numbers were not outrageous, he bothered enough shots to be a true presence. Additionally he did a very good job using the "rule of verticality" to avoid foul trouble in most games. Offensively the senior to be did a nice job finishing down low, but also showed a steadily improving (though rarely used) post game. He shoots the 15 footer with confidence, and is of course a terror on the offensive glass. Was at times, the Hurricanes best overall player. And toward the conclusion of the season began to show leadership as well (see NIT final) which is a great sign for Coach Larranaga and staff.
What he needs to improve: Though Tonye had some strong finishes through out the year, he also missed a few too many bunnies for a 7 footer. His form looks good shooting from the free throw line in, but a lot of his shots came out flat and thus rimmed out. His post game, while improving, definitely needs some work. He likes to go exclusively over his right shoulder or shoot turn around j's. A baby hook and or spin to the baseline would make him all the more dangerous. While Jekiri is a willing passer, not all of his passes were accurate. And along with finishing stronger he needs to drop a few less passes as well.
Player I would like him to watch film on: Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks. Jekiri may not be quite as athletic, but he brings the same hard working approach to games. If he can master the tap out the way Chandler has, he could also give UM a plethora of extra possessions.
Summary: Jekiri is a one of the "bigger" reasons to get excited about 'Canes Hoops for next season. Through hard work and steady improvement, he has turned himself into quite the force. A big senior season should help UM make it back to the NCAA Tournament. Now with the presence of Kamari Murphy at the 4 spot as well as improved play from Omar Sherman/Ivan Cruz Uceda, TJ should have more help down low and be able to roam defensively more often. If his offensive game makes subtle improvements he could score in double figures this year and perhaps average a double double. If that happens he will draw a lot of attention from the NBA as well.