Reno Power Forward Could Be Riser

Two weeks ago at the Cactus Classic we liked what we saw out of Olek Czyz. Who is he? The native of Poland is the latest west coast prospect to ping high-major radars.

We're at that time of the year when every college basketball coach in the country has the same question: "Can you find me a sleeper?"

Frankly, that's not easy. However, a few weeks ago we watched a 6-foot-8 power forward out of Reno (Nev.) High and he's got a chance to fit the bill.

Olek Czyz, a native of Poland, runs with the Las Vegas Prospects. Basically, he forces you to notice his game because he's athletic and nasty rolled into a strong power forward's body.

As a junior, Czyz averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds, a major boost from the year before. Some programs saw him but few prioritized him.

"Coaches saw me play a little bit but (still) a lot have not," Czyz said. "I'm starting to get more calls now." Calls? He should be collecting offers and here's why.

Czyz has an attitude and not a bad one mind you, but an aggressive no-non-sense approach. At the Cactus Classic, he tried to dunk everything in sight. He's very athletic, a good leaper and plays with that edge you can't quantify in the box score.

"I try to dunk everything. Coach was always telling me not to go up soft and go strong. Even if I get blocked I try to get the foul. I go for it." See, you can't teach that kind of mentality. Either you want to be a nasty dunking machine or you don't.

Czyz isn't merely a dunker. He can step out and play facing the basket too.

Washington State was the first to catch on and they offered. The Cougars, Arizona State, Pepperdine and Santa Clara are on him the hardest. Oregon and USC have been in touch and Washington too. "Nevada is interested a lot," Czyz said. "They haven't (offered) yet which is weird but they talk to me all the time."

If he can replicate his intensity and results from the Cactus Classic, we could be talking about a legitimate high-major prospect.

Czyz hasn't made any unofficial visits to date. He goes to Washington State in three weeks and Arizona State this month plus a basketball camp at Pepperdine. You can bet those programs aren't going to let him off campus without pressing for a commitment.

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