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Olek Czyz scouting report….


Every summer, there are a few players who explode into the consciousness of basketball fans all over the nation.  This year, Olek Czyz is going to be one of those guys.

People often ask how a player who is tremendously talented go so unnoticed…and that is a good question.  In this instance, Olek has played for the Las Vegas Prospects for the past 3 summers in AAU competitions.  The Prospects were loaded last year and Olek was a year behind another top PF in Luke Babbitt.  The funny thing is that last year, Babbitt was also a guy who flew up the charts as the summer progressed.  Imagine being a scout last summer in June when you see Olek sitting on the bench behind a guy who you think isn’t all that good either.  It could make anyone fail to notice a kid in that situation.

The great thing about this situation is that although the coaches with the Las Vegas Top Prospects have been telling everyone that Olek was a player, nobody believed them.  You would have thought that they had learned a lesson after missing out on Babbitt, but most didn’t.  Prior to UK offering Olek, his list included schools like Arizona St., Washington State, Colorado State, Santa Clara, Nevada and Pepperdine.  Colorado State should be noted in this instance since the founder of the Las Vegas Top Prospects entire program is now an assistant coach at that university.  Still, most people now realize that Olek is going to be a High Major…even ELITE…player.  Here is why:

Olek is super athletic.  He tries to dunk everything.  He is not scared of ANYONE and that is a great advantage for a 6’8″ kid who has a 40 inch vertical leap.  At one point at Pangos AA camp, I told Olek that he was about to go up against a great post defender/dunker (Storm Warren) and he said, “What number is he, I want him to remember me.”  You have to love that about the guy.  Olek also moves well laterally and has small feet for a guy his size.  This allows him to be more mobile on the perimeter than most PF’s and makes most coaches feel that he will be able to guard the SF spot if needed on occasion.

Olek’s best attribute in my opinion is his work ethic.  The kid is always among the first person up and down the court and he is relentless with his effort.  His motor will not quit and his desire to compete is exceptional.  During UK’s elite camp, during the drill stations the first night, Coach Gillispie reportedly asked if Olek always works so hard.  He found out for certain the next day as Olek dominated overall top 3 player of 2009, Demarcus Cousins.     His desire to compete makes him a good defender, although he will want to add some muscle to his frame during the next year.  Regardless of physique, which is neither skinny nor muscular, Olek has a natural strength and determination which makes him an effective post defender.  He is not a natural shot blocker by instinct, but will likely block some shots during his career due to desire and defensive positioning.

Olek also has some range on his shot.  I have seen him shoot the 3 a few times and he is above average for a post player, although that is not where his game is special.  He is also effective from mid range, although he does have the tendency to attack the rim when he is within striking distance as opposed to shoot the jumper.  He has a nice jump hook that he shoots with either hand and when mixed with a 40 inch vertical, it is a formidable scoring weapon.   Olek is also very crafty around the rim.  He scores with a variety of post moves with either hand.  He has decent footwork which will improve as he enters a high major basketball program and is immersed in practices and drills.  His IQ for the game is also high which shows in his ability to pass the ball from the post.

Obviously, UK has had some experience with Polish players and that will likely be a factor.  I know that Woo was in town and spoke to Olek at length throughout the Elite Camp visit.  I am sure that Woo’s experience playing for the Wildcats was shared with Olek and most of us here know how Woo feels about his Cats!

UK may be the first high major program to offer Olek, but they will not be the last.  Internet rumors are already swirling about interest from UNC, Duke, UF and other top programs.  I can not confirm these rumors, but they certainly do not surprise me.  Any coach who ignores a player this good should be fired.

Marc Maggard

Kentucky Sports Radio &

Article written by MarcMaggard

63 responses to “Olek Czyz scouting report….”

  1. frito bandito


  2. cantwaitfor8


  3. frito bandito

    Wow..that’s really weird. Someone named “me” posted a first but now it’s not there.

  4. chitownkatfan

    nice work as usual MM.

  5. Dan

    Czyz’s small feet will surely disappoint the female segment of the fanbase should he choose UK.

  6. frito bandito

    Feetwise..I never really made the connection with speed and quickness. Now that I think about it, I always though it was strange that Matt Harpring wears 14’s, seeing as how he is 5 inches taller I yet his shoes fit me.

  7. frito bandito

    *than I.

  8. me

    Oh, so the first time I post a first post you guys decided to start deleting them. Genius. At least frito bandito gave me my props! And by the way, frito bandito’s “shucks” post is definitely more deserving!

  9. frito bandito

    I concur.

  10. Anonymous

    i guess tubbs should be fired.

  11. Dr. Rick Stonecipher


  12. BillysTheMan

    so is this olek guy gonna be a mcdonalds all american?

  13. timmy

    who cares dude he’ll be kick ass if billy G is lookin at him

  14. Jon

    Oh yeah, McDonald’s All-Americans are always better than players that are not good enough for that game. Joe Crawford was one so he is much better than Jody Meeks. *end sarcasm*

  15. fuzzy zeller

    Marc, great report. Any news on the South American PG?

  16. frito bandito

    Check the sig.

  17. jds

    Marc, do you believe the last 07 scholly will be saved for next year?

  18. dudewheresmygillispie

    “which number is he, I want him to remember me”

    I love that!

  19. RyanInLondon

    sounds good 2 me. lets go get him

  20. FUG8TR

    Thanks marc you the man! And your site is sweet

  21. GoCats

    #19 I agree, that reminds of defensive players like Prince and even Dale Brown from the 90’s. They would take great pride in guarding the best player on the other team. Sometimes trash talk can be ridiculous but when a player can back it up it is a wonderful thing. My favorite example is Larry Bird walking into the three point shooting contest and asking everyone else in the room, “Which one of you guys is finishing second?”

  22. wildcatadam6

    the more i read on this kid, the more i want him in blue and white.

  23. Dr. Bob

    Shot-blocking can be something that is taught. He’ll be a star.

  24. fuzzy zeller

    22. My favorite Bird quote was when Craig Hodges challenged him to a
    3 point contest and told Bird if he was interested “you know where t o
    find me.” Bird replied, “Yeah, at the end of the bench.”

  25. GoCats

    Larry Bird! a lot of people dont realize it but he was the king of the trash talkers!

  26. fuzzy zeller

    Speaking of Larry Bird, anyone remember Pitino comparing Prickett to Bird”

  27. GoCats

    #27 I talk about that a lot, I was at school in the prickett years. He once had Ford shoot his free throws for him because he was so awful on free throws, not exactly Larry Bird!

  28. 08

    I’m convinced this guys should be our number one priority. Forget rankings and stars. This kid sounds like a Wildcat to me.

  29. Amos

    Herb Sendak of ASU was on this kid from the time he got to town. His former assistant Archie Miller just took the job at Ohio State. So look out for the Buckeyes.

  30. dudewheresmygillispie

    I love aggressive nasty players in any sport as long as they aren’t malicious. #22, Larry Bird is a fantastic example.

    It seems that under Tubby Smith UK lacked a lot of nasty hardnosed players. Bring em on Billy G. I can’t wait to take 10 mean assed UK basketball players down to Florida and make Donovan wish he was in Orlando. Or go to UNC and make Roy Williams look like the sissy he is. Man I get fired up just thinking about punishing other teams. Don’t get me wrong I am no Bob Huggins advocate but I do remember the days when the opposing team would look like those guys from “Gladiator” who were about to be fed to the lions. They would walk on to the floor in Rupp Arena and wet their pants. Last year we were so lame playing at Rupp was just another stop on the schedule. Give Billy G. a couple of years and he will have it back. IMHO recruits are waiting to assess his coaching and success. Once he succeeds, and he will, he will just reload like Pitino did and other top programs do.

  31. SoCal Will

    Marc, Are you starting to suspect Billy G is thinking two post players, instead of one,
    plus a Wing and a Point for ’08? Thanks.

  32. Truth

    Deleted….premium info from Scout. They work hard for their articles and deserve the hits.

    MM…oh, and yeah, I’m a gimmick also. thanks! lol.

  33. David Hobbs

    Sign Em


    33. Marc said if “a certain thing happens we could get Samuels.” He
    said if it didn’t happen we wouldn’t make his list most likely. Perhaps
    that certain thing(possibly our 3rd assistant) hasn’t and won’t happen.

  35. flop

    What’s the deal with everyone picking on Marc Maggard? So he’s wrong every once in a while. Big Deal. He gives us his first hand accounts and predictions for FREE. It’s not like we’re putting anything ($) into the equation that gives us a right to complain. Give me a break.

  36. Jon

    According to, Czyz is a 3 star and is not ranked.

  37. Blueman2000

    33, what’s wrong, are you jealous? Things change in recruiting, it’s not an exact science. Marc gives us good info and in a timely manner. Why must some of you continue to hate and tear others down? Don’t like what Marc and others report, don’t come to this and other websites! Problem solved!

  38. cfunk

    Thanks for the update.

    Also, louisville sucks.

  39. GoCats

    #36 sooooo truueeee! I dont care if he is only right 5% of the time. I love talking about UK basketball with other crazy fans like me in June! I dont care if Marc tells me that Rex Chapman, Rondo and Antoine Walker are coming back for their final 2 years and a “reliable” source told him! I want to talk UK basketball!

  40. jds

    Marc, thanks for sharing another great post.

  41. 08

    Yeah- I mean c’mon cut him some slack. He heard something that made him think we were still a possibility. Maybe we still are. Or maybe the thing never happened. I’m sure we will hear the whole story some day. If we are meant to get him- we will.

  42. GoCats

    #31 i think the biggest problem now in RUPP is too many fans sitting on thier hands. 2 suggestions that have been mentioned on this site are fantastic:
    1) First 4 rows in Rupp to students(alumni will never allow this one)
    2) One game a year(a quality opponent) in Memorial Coliseum and only students invited.
    I am no longer a student but I would support this 100%

  43. billythekid

    43- i agree

  44. frito bandito

    What game would you like to see that implemented for?
    Tough call from my angle..I live in Louisville and try to make it to at least 2 or 3 games a season. Maybe a mid-range sec opponent like a Georgia or Vandy…Maybe UT?

  45. dudewheresmygillispie

    #43 – Maybe there are too many old foggys too close to the floor, but I was there the night Florida came to town ranked #1 three or four years ago and UK beat the snot out of them. At one point the Cats were up by 30 points and the place was electric. I mean that was the loudest I have ever heard Rupp. I think we could get the atmosphere back with out a doubt and it starts next year. I do like the idea of a game being played in Memorial Coliseum. If you could promote it to get more TV revenues to offset the loss of gate revenue I am sure they would be all for it.

  46. billythekid

    i think #13 mean was is he that caliber type talent

  47. GoCats

    #46 that is my point, anyone can get up for a #1 ranked opponent and I honestly believe that UK fans can get as loud if not louder than anyone when they want to but why do we have to wait for the #1 team to come to RUPP? If the students had the game in Memorial it would be absolutely nuts no matter who we played. I agree that a mid level opponent like Vandy would be perfect, especially considering how much trouble we have playing in Vandy’s Gym.

  48. student

    a buddy i work with is in HS and played at the elite camp. I asked him who he thought the best player there was, and he said it was olek.

  49. Sebastian Telfair

    Hi Gang! I said the same thing Samuels is saying & then some. But I didn’t want to stray too far from the projects in Brooklyn. The UofL campus is a dangerous place.

  50. Rob's hairgel

    Marc, thanks for the update.Alot of the people appreciate the things you report that’s usually better than TCP and a hell of alot cheaper!!!

  51. GoCats

    #51 A long time ago, TCP was my sole source of info. before I found this site. If I had waited for my latest issue of the cats pause to find out the latest info, I would have find out on Friday that We signed Legion and Patterson, and Legion helped sign Patterson, We cancelled the UMASS game apparently, also Donovan signed with the magic but I wouldnt know that he resigned with Florida, I guess I would have to wait until my July issue to find that out! This is the info that was in my Friday edition of the cats pause which is all things I learned weeks ago on this site! Thanks Guys!

  52. Anonymous

    This guy sounds like a player. I hope we can get him.

  53. SHOW ME...........

    um uh where is tonights news and views?

  54. SHOW ME...........

    come on Matt you promised….stop slacking off, we don’t care if you have a real job as a lawyer

  55. ukcatfan88

    Czyz is pronounced “chizz.” When he does a nasty dunk, we can say “he just chizzed all over that guy.”

  56. Brent

    Is it just me, or is Olek rockin the ’90s hair?

  57. bbdevil

    Kryzyzewski and Wojo… he’s a Duke homeboy!

  58. Beatle Bum

    Excellent information. Thanks Marc.

  59. MEWH

    This Czyz kid sounds just like the type of player Duke normally gets. He is in a position where
    we could take a chance on him. We have PP set in the 4, so this guy could prove to be a great
    substitute at the 3,4. We need to sick Woo on him full time.

  60. MEWH

    Olek sounds like a shorter collegiate version of Keith Van Horn.

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  62. Coby

    Olek signed with Duke today! Sorry UK fans.
    Christian Laettner says Hi!!