Thursday, August 22, 2013

Player Profile: Tyler Olander

Looking Back:  Tyler Olander missed a great opportunity last season.  With Drummond and Oriakhi gone, he was the next in line to fill in their role.  While he is a power forward, today’s college game rarely utilizes the center position due to zone defenses and the inability to truly space the floor.  The position has become more of a hybrid and that is exactly what Olander is.  Unfortunately he couldn’t string together solid performances and struggled to do the little things out there.  With each bad performance, his confidence took a hit until he could barely scratch two or three rebounds a game. To top it all off, he had to have surgery on his foot and then got arrested in Florida while on vacation.  It truly was a season to forget.

The Good:  Olander has shown the ability, though in small doses, to hit the fifteen footer.  He has a smooth jumper and is a good free throw shooter, though doesn’t get to the line.  He has an above the rim game and can run the floor well.  He also has versatility to his game and can defend both the four and the five positions.

The Bad: His rebounding instincts just aren’t where they need to be.  He doesn’t clear out space and doesn’t get the ball at its apex. Often times he lets his man slip by him for easy put-backs and his footwork on the pick-and-roll defense needs to improve.  Far too many times he didn’t hedge well and let his defender slip to the basket unmolested.

Looking Ahead:
This is it for Olander.  He needs to put it all together this year and the sooner the better.  This team has a deeper roster at his position and minutes will go to whoever rebounds the best.  Hopefully his foot injury will not hurt his progression this season.  If he can hover around 8-10 boards a game then Ollie will give him the starts, but if he continues to play like he did last season then it won’t be as memorable a senior season for this hometown boy as he would’ve liked.

EDIT: Olander was suspended from the team due to a DUI arrest on 9/7/2013.  Ollie said that he will be reinstated when he shows better life choices.

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