The transfer market has again shown favor to Andy Kennedy and the Ole Miss basketball program in the form of 7-foot Drake transfer Dominik Olejniczak. The Torun, Poland, native is a true center that is believed to possess NBA potential. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tabbed him as one of the best available transfers on the market in his most updated rankings. At one point, Goodman ranked him as the eighth best on the list.
He would have to sit the 2016-17 season, but would have three seasons of eligibility following that. While many transfers that keep the stove hot during this time of year are in high demand because of their ability to play immediately, Olejniczak’s transfer limitations that will require him to sit a season can actually be beneficial for the Rebels.
Sitting next season is ok due to the fact Sebastian Saiz will be a senior and is expected to be a team pillar. The three year’s to follow Olejniczak and Nate Morris could certainly manage the post, conceivably complimenting each other well.
The 249-pound rising sophomore chose the Rebels over Colorado, California, Florida, Florida State and others.
It really came down to the good guys, Colorado and Cal. Cuonzo Martin is linking players with the NBA and recruiting at a high level since leaving Knoxville for Berkeley. Colorado tried to convince the former Drake Bulldog that they would use him more than the bigs are used in Oxford.
However, a chance to play in The Pavilion as well as pairing himself with explosive backcourt options in Kennedy’s system was too tempting of a draw. He also has a relationship with recent Ole Miss grad transfer and fellow countryman, Tomasz Gielo. His inside look into the program through his friend also helped him make the decision.
The Drake program certainly could have built around Olejniczak going forward as they look to continue building under head coach Ray Giacoletti, especially after he flashed his potential down the stretch in the final 13 games.
Each of his six 10-plus point games came in that stretch, where he averaged 10.2 points and five rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field. His season-high 12 rebound came in the first game of the season, while his season-high 19 points came in the season finale. His final three games saw him average 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game.
For the season he averaged just 16.4 minutes per game and in that time he averaged 6.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 2 fouls per game.
Though, when he received more opportunity, his production was significantly better. However, foul trouble did become a regular issue with increased playing time. In 12 games in which he played 20 minutes or more he averaged 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 4.2 fouls per game.
Also in those games where his role was expanded, he shot 72 percent from the floor. So his efficiency also followed his increased reps. He also showed well for his county in the Division A U-18 European Championships, where he totaled 7.5 points and five boards per game.
Add Olejniczak to list along with Cullen Neal to join Ole Miss basketball this spring. The Rebels are in the market for perhaps one additional transfer to add to next season’s roster.