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View Full Version : Duke makes the cut for Olek Czyz



watzone
08-01-2007, 10:28 PM
Czyz was supposed to narrow his list to five schools in the coming weeks. Well, the Polish prospect decided he was down to just three. Duke made the cut along with Florida and Lousiville. Yep! Buddies Pitino and BD vs K;) Olek is a bit raw, but very athletic.

Bob Green
08-02-2007, 06:46 AM
Here is a link: http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070802/SPORTS03/708020318/1018/SPORTS from the Reno Gazette-Journal.

scarbo30
08-02-2007, 08:17 AM
Watzone.....Last night, the guys calling the AAU Championship noted that the staff was not only checking out those guards (K. Boynton, MVP.....) from Florida, but their big man as well. Yea or Nay????

watzone
08-02-2007, 08:31 AM
They may have been checking Eloy Vargas out, but thats about it. He's a solid player IMO, but most feel Louisville or Florida lead. He dropped Kentucky yesterday. They may have been watching another underclassmen. Duke is watching Kendall Marshall who played for Boo Williams.

scarbo30
08-02-2007, 09:08 AM
They specifically called out Vargas/Duke by name soooo I threw it out there....

VaDukie
08-02-2007, 11:30 AM
Any help pronouncing that last name?

watzone
08-02-2007, 11:37 AM
Any help pronouncing that last name?

I've heard it pronounced "Chez" and "Chiz" I use the latter, but it could be wrong.

Indoor66
08-02-2007, 11:37 AM
Any help pronouncing that last name?

It is pronounced "Czyz". (LOL)

Law Talking Guy
08-03-2007, 12:55 PM
Any help pronouncing that last name?

How about "C"?:D

EagleDevil
08-03-2007, 05:41 PM
A coach named Krzyzewski has to have the edge in recruiting a guy named Czyz. There's just a natural ZYZ connection there.

Chris

BDevilU
08-03-2007, 06:08 PM
Is he the "shiz"?

FreezingDevil
08-04-2007, 09:24 AM
The name Czyz alone is reason enough to want this guy to come to Duke. Just think of how much joy such a name would give the Crazies! My mind is already filled with such horrible chants like "czyzille" and "more czyz please" (assuming you pronounce his name "chiz" or "cheez"). Give me more time and I could come up with dozens more.

jaimedun34
08-04-2007, 01:17 PM
The name Czyz alone is reason enough to want this guy to come to Duke. Just think of how much joy such a name would give the Crazies! My mind is already filled with such horrible chants like "czyzille" and "more czyz please" (assuming you pronounce his name "chiz" or "cheez"). Give me more time and I could come up with dozens more.

lol. That's good.

mgtr
08-04-2007, 01:50 PM
But even if it is pronounced "sizz," then Czyzille is excellent!

tommy
08-06-2007, 12:37 AM
This is from the article Bob Green linked to:

Both sites rate him as a four-star player out of five, with Scout.com ranking him the 19th best power forward in the nation and Rivals.com as the 24th best.
"I have to work on all of my skills (not just offense)," Czyz said. "All of the coaches have said I have a big upside. Of course I have to work on my offense and my dribbling and I want to get stronger too. After my first two or three years (in college) I will be a completely different player."

Why exactly are we super-excited about a kid who is so raw and rated not the 19th or 24th best player in the nation, but the 19th or 24th best power forward?? I know those ratings are often way off, and yes, the fact that Florida and Louisville are interested indicates we're not alone in seeing something here, but still, the kid does not appear to be a top tier recruit and says himself he's going to need several years to "be a completely different player." Sounds like a pretty major project to me, and not the level of recruit needed to win championships. Has anyone actually seen him play? Why are we targeting a guy like this when that class is supposed to be so deep with really high quality players?

Bob Green
08-06-2007, 04:06 AM
This is from the article Bob Green linked to:

Both sites rate him as a four-star player out of five, with Scout.com ranking him the 19th best power forward in the nation and Rivals.com as the 24th best.
"I have to work on all of my skills (not just offense)," Czyz said. "All of the coaches have said I have a big upside. Of course I have to work on my offense and my dribbling and I want to get stronger too. After my first two or three years (in college) I will be a completely different player."

Why exactly are we super-excited about a kid who is so raw and rated not the 19th or 24th best player in the nation, but the 19th or 24th best power forward?? I know those ratings are often way off, and yes, the fact that Florida and Louisville are interested indicates we're not alone in seeing something here, but still, the kid does not appear to be a top tier recruit and says himself he's going to need several years to "be a completely different player." Sounds like a pretty major project to me, and not the level of recruit needed to win championships. Has anyone actually seen him play? Why are we targeting a guy like this when that class is supposed to be so deep with really high quality players?

Several counterpoints:

1. IMO, one of the criticisms leveled at Coach K and staff, in the past, is not identifying "diamond in the rough" talent as a backup to the top tier talent being recruited. When a top rated target decides to go to a different school some fans are outraged that we "put all our eggs in one basket" and weren't recruiting a lesser ranked option as a backup.

2. Olek Czyz has blown up on the recruiting scene this summer and is definitely a quality talent. Yes, he is raw, but he is big (6'8" 235 lbs) and extremely athletic (41" vertical). His potential is through the roof and we all should be excited about his recruitment.

3. I like the fact that Czyz is talking about how different he will be in two or three years. Olek Czyz is a guy who can come into our system, possibly contribute immediately in a limited role, stay two or three or four years, and develop into an All-American.

4. The Class of 2008 is not really deep with high quality players. The Class of 2009 is much deeper.

I see this as a case of Coach K pursuing a win-win situation in the recruitment of power forwards. The best case scenario for Duke basketball will be to sign one-and-done Greg Monroe in pursuit of immediate payoff, and to sign Olek Czyz who will deliver payoff down the road. We sign Elliot Williams to secure our future at the 2/3 position and then push hard to sign three or four players from the Class of 2009.

Cali-Duke
08-06-2007, 08:23 AM
I completely agree with Bob on this. Also, Olek moved to the US not too long ago (3 years according to one article). It is difficult, though not impossible, to adjust to US style play and suddenly jump to the top rankings.

Plus, how many 6-8 guys have 41 inch verticals. Thats around as high as Marty and Gerald's verticals, but he is taller than both of them. Crazy!

Patrick Yates
08-06-2007, 11:52 AM
http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=697357

The above link is to a Rivals article that touches on this very point regarding Czyz. Most feel that he will not be able to significantly contribute from day 1. His skill set is simply too raw. But the tools appear to be in place. Right now, he has LeBron like size and athleticism, but nowhere near the polished skills that Bron has. He will probably never be THAT skilled, but with proper seasoning, and extensive work on ball handling and shooting, he could be a stud at Duke. This is not to say he won't have some impact his frosh year. He will be great as an energy guy for 10-20 mpg, providing quality rebounding and attacking the rim at every opportunity. Also, he is a great insurance player for when a starter gets injured or in foul trouble. He will help immediately, if not be a huge contributor night-in night out.

I have been one of the most strident proponents of the "diamond in the rough" criticisms of K. For years, I have been tired of seeing kids that Duke did not deign to recruit start killing us after a year or two of seasoning. I would like to see K and the staff polish the skills of an raw but elite athlete into an all-america, which Olek (love his nickname, Ollie) certainly has the potential to become.

This brings up a quibble about rankings. For the above poster re: Ollie being the 24th or something PF, those rankings are pre summer. That will change, a lot, in the post summer rankings. But that shouldn't matter. I have seen a real trend over the past decade or so since I entered Duke. That trend is that the vast majority of player rankings are bull-plonky. I beleive that the gurus can look at a class and say who the top 5-10 players are. After that, it is not very accurate. I really think that the 15-20 range, down to 200, are fairly close. There is not a real separation. The guy who is ranked 25th is probably not significantly better than the kid who is ranked 75th or 150th for that matter.

A lot of this depends on when the guru saw you play. One day, when I was a Sr in HS, I had a perfect day playing pickup ball. I was playing against kids as good as I was, so it was similiar to summer ball in that recruits are playing with other top kids. That day, I was unconscious. I hit everything I threw up. For a carreer 15% shooter from outside the lane, I was unreal. If you saw me that day, you would at least think I was a star on my HS team. I wasn't even on my HS team. My point is, that a ranker sees a few games for most players a summer. What if the kid isn't hitting that day, or his GF dumped him, or his parents are having problems, or whatever. He has a bad game or two and drops like a rock. Conversely, some kid is on fire for a week and he skyrockets. In reality, the two kids are approximately as good as each other, but one is a top 20 recruit while the other is buried in the 75-100 range. When they arrive at college and the 75th player is better than the 25th player, everyone is shocked, when they shouldn't be. We at Duke get too caught up in rankings numbers. They may not mean as much as we want them to. That said, getting at top 5 kid (Greg Monroe, come on down) is usually great, because these kids have truly separated themselves from the pack.

Patrick Yates

ps. Word of caution on Ollie. Apparantly he had one really good week, surrounded by mediocre to poor weeks this summer. That one week he looked great, and the expectations have skyrocketed since. This is the prototype of a player that needs at least 3 years to be a star in college. In yr 1 he provide falshes where he looks great, but small flashes only. Yr 2 is when he starts to be a solid player, and years 3&4 are when he is a team star. Letting Ollie learn from Singler and King at the forward slots would be great. By his Jr year Ollie could be a stud SF, IF the staff can develop his skills.

Chicago 1995
08-06-2007, 03:56 PM
http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=697357

The above link is to a Rivals article that touches on this very point regarding Czyz. Most feel that he will not be able to significantly contribute from day 1. His skill set is simply too raw. But the tools appear to be in place. Right now, he has LeBron like size and athleticism, but nowhere near the polished skills that Bron has. He will probably never be THAT skilled, but with proper seasoning, and extensive work on ball handling and shooting, he could be a stud at Duke. This is not to say he won't have some impact his frosh year. He will be great as an energy guy for 10-20 mpg, providing quality rebounding and attacking the rim at every opportunity. Also, he is a great insurance player for when a starter gets injured or in foul trouble. He will help immediately, if not be a huge contributor night-in night out.

I have been one of the most strident proponents of the "diamond in the rough" criticisms of K. For years, I have been tired of seeing kids that Duke did not deign to recruit start killing us after a year or two of seasoning. I would like to see K and the staff polish the skills of an raw but elite athlete into an all-america, which Olek (love his nickname, Ollie) certainly has the potential to become.

This brings up a quibble about rankings. For the above poster re: Ollie being the 24th or something PF, those rankings are pre summer. That will change, a lot, in the post summer rankings. But that shouldn't matter. I have seen a real trend over the past decade or so since I entered Duke. That trend is that the vast majority of player rankings are bull-plonky. I beleive that the gurus can look at a class and say who the top 5-10 players are. After that, it is not very accurate. I really think that the 15-20 range, down to 200, are fairly close. There is not a real separation. The guy who is ranked 25th is probably not significantly better than the kid who is ranked 75th or 150th for that matter.

A lot of this depends on when the guru saw you play. One day, when I was a Sr in HS, I had a perfect day playing pickup ball. I was playing against kids as good as I was, so it was similiar to summer ball in that recruits are playing with other top kids. That day, I was unconscious. I hit everything I threw up. For a carreer 15% shooter from outside the lane, I was unreal. If you saw me that day, you would at least think I was a star on my HS team. I wasn't even on my HS team. My point is, that a ranker sees a few games for most players a summer. What if the kid isn't hitting that day, or his GF dumped him, or his parents are having problems, or whatever. He has a bad game or two and drops like a rock. Conversely, some kid is on fire for a week and he skyrockets. In reality, the two kids are approximately as good as each other, but one is a top 20 recruit while the other is buried in the 75-100 range. When they arrive at college and the 75th player is better than the 25th player, everyone is shocked, when they shouldn't be. We at Duke get too caught up in rankings numbers. They may not mean as much as we want them to. That said, getting at top 5 kid (Greg Monroe, come on down) is usually great, because these kids have truly separated themselves from the pack.

Patrick Yates

ps. Word of caution on Ollie. Apparantly he had one really good week, surrounded by mediocre to poor weeks this summer. That one week he looked great, and the expectations have skyrocketed since. This is the prototype of a player that needs at least 3 years to be a star in college. In yr 1 he provide falshes where he looks great, but small flashes only. Yr 2 is when he starts to be a solid player, and years 3&4 are when he is a team star. Letting Ollie learn from Singler and King at the forward slots would be great. By his Jr year Ollie could be a stud SF, IF the staff can develop his skills.

Lebron like? Let's be a little more realistic. Even just talking about his size and his athleticism, that's just a wildly unfair and terrible comparison.

Further, it's going to create an expectation of an upside that's not merited. Given that most of the reports say that Olek has trouble dribbling and creating his own shot, we need to respect that he's really raw, and comparing him to, at worst, the second best wing in the world in any form, isn't constructive.

Also, Olek projects as a PF, not a SF, right? Understanding the flexibility of the Duke system, his size and skill set right now certainly is more of a PF type of player, not an SF, so the Lebron comparison, again, falls flat.

I have no problem that we're recruiting Czyz. I'm a little worried our recruiting is so focused in the '08 class as it is. That being said, we need to be very realistic about Olek and his contributions if he in fact becomes a Blue Devil. While we've not recruited a ton of kids like this of late, those that we have recruited haven't panned out.

Olek isn't going to make or break this class. If he comes, he gives us a good practice body, and beyond that, I don't think any of us has any clue as to what he'll become.

This class is Williams and Monroe for better or worse, and that's it. While I'm not sure if we can afford to miss on either of them, I am sure that we can't afford to miss on both.

Saratoga2
08-06-2007, 06:42 PM
This is from the article Bob Green linked to:

Both sites rate him as a four-star player out of five, with Scout.com ranking him the 19th best power forward in the nation and Rivals.com as the 24th best.
"I have to work on all of my skills (not just offense)," Czyz said. "All of the coaches have said I have a big upside. Of course I have to work on my offense and my dribbling and I want to get stronger too. After my first two or three years (in college) I will be a completely different player."

Why exactly are we super-excited about a kid who is so raw and rated not the 19th or 24th best player in the nation, but the 19th or 24th best power forward?? I know those ratings are often way off, and yes, the fact that Florida and Louisville are interested indicates we're not alone in seeing something here, but still, the kid does not appear to be a top tier recruit and says himself he's going to need several years to "be a completely different player." Sounds like a pretty major project to me, and not the level of recruit needed to win championships. Has anyone actually seen him play? Why are we targeting a guy like this when that class is supposed to be so deep with really high quality players?

Florida had several really strong kids backing up Horford and Noah. They were a little raw too but were instrumental in Florida reaching the final four and then winning. He is exactly the type of player that we lack now. He might be a back up at first giving minutes and fouls and scoring a little but he is likely to blossom over the years. By this time next year the kid may be rated in the top ten power forward category and we would be getting the very solid power player we will lack this coming season.

watzone
08-06-2007, 08:40 PM
Well, the cold harsh truth is that prospects have to be a "Duke type" player. The 08 class doesn't offer a lot of perfect fits. I mean we lose DeMarcus Nelson and a certain soph is poised to blow up and enter the draft. That said, how much room does Duke have on the roster?

Bob stated that Duke likes several players in 09. That is true. The class is more talented and Duke will have more holes to fill. So! Duke is willing to get one or two players in the 08 class. Even if they miss on the guys, their roster is deep.

Duke is interested or looking at ten or so prospects in 09 and again, they are doing so for good reason. It's easy to reconize players like Derrick Favors are super talented, but getting prospects interested in an education or into school isn't always easy. There is so much that goes into the recruiting process besides recognizing talent. Prospects must fit the system and jive with the current players.

As for gurus rating players. Well, some are better than others. The good ones try to see the players in person, but they do take into account that it may have been a good weekend. Or a bad event could have been because of thoughts on family matters, jet lag or a nagging injury.

What I am saying is that the Duke staff and the better gurus take a lot of things into consideration. More often than not, rankings are a combination of four or five people. Prep Stars, Scout and Rivals have at least two people that hit the road and are at every event.

While the rankings will always be imperfect, they still serve as a guide. It is true that a single tournament can cause a player to move up too much and Czyz is likely one if you go with his #36 ranking from one service.

Czyz is one of the few Duke prospects I have never seen play in person because he stayed in the far west all summer long. I still asked around about him and got that he was raw but talented from Luke Babbitt, a prospect that plays in the same HS conference with him. Luke is a straight shooter and friends with Czyz.

What I am saying is that a good judge of talent comes from viewing him and gathering information from those who know him, be it AAU coaches, teammates or opposing players.

When you consider how long Czyz has played, it is impossible to rate him accurately. You also have to keep in mind that he has another year to go. More importantly is this fact. None of the schools in his final three expect him to make an immediate impact and have told him so. Czyz himself has stated he wants to learn the game from a good coach.

johnb
08-07-2007, 07:26 PM
I would be surprised if kids who are ranked 20th are about as good as the kids who are ranked 150th. That is easily checkable if you want to look at who gets drafted into the NBA. I'm not going to do it, but I'd be stunned if kids rated 20-30 weren't drafted A LOT more often than the 10 kids ranked 150-160 (though if you match up the kids from 20-30 versus "all kids ranked between 30 and 500," then the latter group might get drafted more often, but that would be a darn big team.

It is true that a player from Clemson or Wake who was rated 90th best in hs sometimes develops into a better player than one of our Duke McD's A-A's. And it seems true that there is often disagreement amongst the gurus so that one guy ranks a player #15 and another ranks him #45, and it is also true that players evolve and fluctuate and that a guru is inevitably going to know a player from his region better than a player from across the country and will, to some extent, rank based on reputation which can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of high rankings.

Nevertheless, my hunch is that Clemson or Wake would have been ecstatic about recruiting almost ANY of our players since they are universally seen as super players with solid grades. Virtually all of our players could have gone anywhere they wanted. The fact that they all don't pan out reflects the vicissitudes of player development, but, to use a poker analogy, a pocket 8-10 does sometimes beat pocket aces, but it's not the way to bet.

Carlos
08-08-2007, 11:59 AM
Patrick's points are good ones as they relate to Czyz. He came from nowhere onto the scene at the Pangos Camp in early June of this year. That got him the ranking he has now and the truth of the matter is that no matter how amazing he was at that camp, he wasn't going to vault all the way to the top of the rankings over guys who have performed consistently and been seen more often over the past 2-3 years.

That's almost a different spin on the "one shining moment" syndrome that Patrick mentioned is that most of the guys who evaluate players for Scout, Rivals, and the other sites have been around enough to be somewhat cautious about how they view players they haven't seen too much.

I would disagree that his buzz has been created by one really good week and then mediocre and poor weeks subsequent to that. Czyz was amazing at the Pangos Camp and then followed that up with a performance at the Reebok U. camp that earned him first team all-star honors. He didn't play as well at the adidas 64 tournament, but I'm not sure you can call it "bad."

As others have noted, he has size and plays bigger because of his vertical ability. He plays hard and has - in the words of Hubie - great upside. He's also likely to stick around for 4 years because 6-8 power forwards aren't exactly in high demand by the NBA guys.

I'd love to add him to the roster today if Duke could.

captmojo
08-08-2007, 12:58 PM
There is so much that goes into the recruiting process besides recognizing talent. Prospects must fit the system and jive with the current players.



What I am saying is that the Duke staff and the better gurus take a lot of things into consideration.
What I am saying is that a good judge of talent comes from viewing him and gathering information from those who know him, be it AAU coaches, teammates or opposing players.

Czyz himself has stated he wants to learn the game from a good coach.

Eloquently stated, Mr. Watzone. As long as there is talent and desire, the coaching staff is overly qualified to turn him into an excellent player. In K I trust.

JasonEvans
08-08-2007, 06:17 PM
I would be surprised if kids who are ranked 20th are about as good as the kids who are ranked 150th. That is easily checkable if you want to look at who gets drafted into the NBA. I'm not going to do it, but I'd be stunned if kids rated 20-30 weren't drafted A LOT more often than the 10 kids ranked 150-160 (though if you match up the kids from 20-30 versus "all kids ranked between 30 and 500," then the latter group might get drafted more often, but that would be a darn big team.


A while back. on the old board I think, I did an analysis of three or four years worth of kids and whether they were busts, good, or stars based upon where they were ranked by the recruiting experts. I looked at the top 20 kids in the class, then kids 21-40 and then the group from 41-60. I wish I still had the numbers.

I can tell you in general terms what I found. It came out as you would expect. Kids in the top 20 made the NBA at a muuuuch higher rate than the next group-- something like 60% versus like 15 or 20%. The third group, the kids ranked from 41-60, only made the NBA at about a 5-10% rate. The number of kids ranked from 41-60 who never even became consistent starters for their college team was stunning--- something around 40%.

People love to criticize recruiting rankings and there is no question that the gurus get it wrong on many kids, but when you look at consensus rankings over several years and a lot of kids, you'll find that recruiting rankings are an EXCELLENT measure of collegiate and NBA success.

-Jason "RSCIHoops.com (http://rscihoops.com/) should be your bible in this discussion" Evans