The decision is in for three-star power forward Alex Olesinski, and he is headed to UCLA. In the middle of a very solid senior season at La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere, Olesinski received an offer from the Bruins and following their game on Wednesday night he decided to commit to the school.
The 6-foot-8 Olesinski has proven his ability to not only make shots from deep, but play inside the arc as a senior. That led to significant interest or offers from schools such as UNLV, Boston College, Arizona State, New Mexico, Ole Miss, and others, but in the end it was the allure of UCLA that led to the pledge.
“I just want to let you know I have committed to UCLA,” Olesinski informed Scout.com.
UCLA saw Olesinski during the season and decided his ability to spread the court from the power forward position would fit in well within their system.
For Olesinski it was the whole package that UCLA had to offer that made the difference.
"It is just everything," said Olesinski about why he picked the Bruins. "The tradition here, the basketball program, the coaches are really passionate and showed they really wanted me. I like what they picture me doing for the program early, and the academics were huge because the other schools I was considering had great programs and coaching staffs as well."
He continued, "Also I got along with all the players really well, and I saw how close they were with each other. It really is like a family, kind of what I have at my school now."
The UCLA Bruins clearly have been looking to add depth to their frontcourt with the 2015 class, and they did just that on Wednesday night when Alex Olesinski joined in the fold. This is the first commitment from a forward in the class, and Olesinski will bring a unique skillset to the table.
Next year on the roster UCLA will have plenty of size down low with centers Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh, and now a power forward will be able to step out and give them some room to operate. Olesinski provides a different look than what the current UCLA frontcourt has, and that clearly was some of the appeal for the Bruin coaching staff.
At nearly 6-foot-9 with solid athleticism, Olesinski is not the type of big bruising power forward who is going to play down low and dominate on the glass. Instead he is someone who is going to be used in pick and pop situations to stretch out defenses and provide space for Welsh and Parker to work on the low block.
Aside from being able to shoot the ball, Olesinski has a solid ability to attack off the dribble, especially when going against bigger and slower opponents, and is more than capable of finishing above the rim with athleticism.
Over the past year Olesinski has made big improvements to his game in terms of assertiveness and also just with raw production. Over the summer Olesinski would float around the perimeter too much and not be assertive, however as a senior he has showed signs of wanting to take the big shot and also make plays for his teammates at key times.
The biggest growth area for Olesinski will come in the weight room. He is a prospect who is going to need to get real familiar with the strength coach. At this point he has a lot of room to fill out his frame, and as he continues to get bigger and stronger, it is likely that he will get better defending the post as well as on the glass as a rebounder.
Olesinski is the type of program player that can definitely be a very solid contributor as an upperclassmen and gives depth to the frontcourt with size and versatility. On top of that he is an excellent student and is a leader on and off the court.
Just days after visiting Westwood, three-star power forward Alex Olesinski made it official Wednesday night: he's going to be a Bruin.
The product of La Porte (Ind.) Roswell called the coaches tonight after the game against USC to tell them he's committing.
Olesinski joins a class that already includes November signees Aaron Holiday and Prince Ali. Olesinski is the first post commitment in the class for UCLA, but hopefully not the last.
UCLA is still in the mix for five-star power forward Ivan Rabb, five-star small forward Jaylen Brown, five-star center Stephen Zimmerman, five-star small forward Brandon Ingram, and four-star shooting guard Kobie Eubanks.
Olesinski Commits to the Bruins -- Quotes
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