The Story On Olek Czyz

On Wednesday night the Blue Devils earned a commitment from four star power forward Olek Czyz - a 6'7 prospect out of Reno, NV. Several Duke fans are no doubt left wondering what kind of player Coach K will be bringing in next summer. TDD polled several sources to get the answer.

Name: Olek Czyz
Vitals: 6'7, 235 pounds
Projected Position: Power Forward
2006-2007 Stats: 19.9 points, 9 rebounds for Reno
Notable: Recently measured out at 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds with a 40 inch vertical jump.
Proper Pronunciation: The best guess here is like "Shizz"

Expert Quotes:
"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." - Dave Telep

"Czyz turned the spotlight on himself with a strong spring. His summer was up and down but still strong enough to have the big dogs of college basketball barking at his door once the smoke cleared from a turbulent month of July." - Dave Telep

Expert Q&A - Dave Telep & Evan Daniels

How much of an immediate impact do you see Czyz having when he arrives at Duke?

Telep: Olek's got some attributes that translate well with Duke. He's an athletic power forward who can really run the floor, make plays and bring energy. That's his calling card.

Daniels: Unless Kyle Singler has a good enough freshman season where he could leave for the NBA, Duke shouldn¹t need Czyz to make an instant impact. With that said Olek has great athleticism and runs the floor so well that he¹ll find some time on the court. At this point I don¹t think he¹ll be a super star, but he certainly can be a quality piece to the puzzle.

What are his best attributes? What does he need to work on?

Telep: To put himself in the best position he'll need to develop some offense in the post that he's comfortable with and tighten up his mid range shot.

Daniels: Obviously his athleticism is his best attribute and he uses it so well. His ability to run the floor, snag offensive rebounds and get easy buckets around the rim is what will eventually find him time on the floor.

At 6-7, 6-8 Czyz doesn¹t have great size inside and needs to continue to work on his positioning and aggressiveness on the defensive boards. At times Czyz tried playing on the wing this summer and if that¹s where he wants to play he¹s going to have to continue to improve his shooting and ball handling.

Czyz seemed to burst onto the scene early in the summer and then experts cooled on him. What were your overall impressions on his summer as a whole?

Telep: A lot happened for Olek in a short period of time. I'm not sure he was completely ready for the onslaught of attention that came his way after May. Mix in the fact that he was preparing for a trip home while he was in the midst of some major recruiting attention and you have a guy with a lot on his mind. To me, his spring and summer was extremely successful because he went from mid major possibility to high major in a matter of two months.

What was Olek's signature performance of the summer?

Daniels: Czyz signature performance was at the Pangos All-American Camp in L.A. In the camp Czyz ran the floor, got dunks on the break and even and showed off a nice jump hook. When Czyz is on top of his game he¹s tough to stop when he gets out in the open court because of his athletic ability.

With Duke's only remaining post target being Greg Monroe, how do you think he and Czyz would mesh together should Monroe end up at Duke?

Telep: Olek's commitment came outside the framework of Duke's recruitment of Greg Monroe. Their situations don't impact each other at all. I think Olek is an easy guy to play alongside another big because he's a kid that brings energy and his activity is useful to the guys around him.

Bottom Line:
Duke fans should expect to see an athletic prospect with a strong body and explosive leaping ability who can run the floor with anyone at his position. Certainly not a finished prospect from a basketball perspective, but one with a very high ceiling and a lot of tools to work with.

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