Duke Basketball Player Profile: Olek Czyz

Mike KlineAnalyst INovember 19, 2009

DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 17:  Olek Czyz #13 of the Duke Blue Devils runs upcourt during the game against the North Carolina Asheville Bulldogs on December 17, 2008 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This marks the first in a series of profiles on Duke's Basketball players and what they can hope to contribute to this year’s team.

Olek Czyz has inspired one of the most original cheers to come from the Cameron Crazies in years.

"You got Czyzed on!" Those are the words that follow a dunk by the sophomore Duke forward.

Czyz, who has been a crowd favorite pretty much since he stepped onto campus, was known coming out of high school for his ability to dunk.

Unfortunately for him, in his freshman campaign, he didn't get that opportunity very often.

Last year, he seemed lost and out of place and had many fans wondering what if any impact he would ever have in Durham. In the first three games of the year, it is clear that Czyz has shown the ability to develop into a useful role player.

He simply just looks more comfortable and confident on the floor. And while he is likely to see his playing time decrease as the season goes on, he isn't without a purpose for this and future Duke teams.

While Czyz is known for his powerful dunks, he simply just doesn't have the ability at the division one level to create those opportunities for himself against the best opposition.

That being said, the areas that would benefit him to work on the most if he wishes to see more time are defense and rebounding.

Last season, Czyz was a major liability on the defensive end. He is still not great but is heads and tails above last year. If he continues to improve his footwork and play defense with his head rather than just his athleticism he can be a solid defender.

Where Czyz can contribute the most would be in rebounding. He certainly has the body for it and the athleticism. But like Dennis Rodman use to say you have to want to rebound.

If Czyz does that and puts his heart into it, he could end up being an excellent rebounder for the Blue Devils.

And who knows maybe with that improved defense and rebounding prowess he could put himself in a position to "Czyz" on even more people in the future.